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Thread: Help Explaining Why SLAMing Is Better Than Algaecide

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    Join Date
    May 2015
    Pittsburgh, PA

    Help Explaining Why SLAMing Is Better Than Algaecide

    Hi there,

    I'm new here but have been reading extensively. I've never cared for a pool before, but wanted to help my immediate family this year as the pool we all use is pretty green after opening.

    From what I understand, they're plan is to use a shock and algaecide, but they don't test for CYA or much other than those cheap chlorine and ph tests.

    I tried explaining to them the methods here, but was met with the idea that if we use chlorine we won't be able to swim for weeks while the algaecide will kill it in a couple days. Obviously wrong on several levels, but could someone point me somewhere or help me explain to them why the SLAM method will work better and faster?


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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Columbia, SC

    Re: Help Explaining Why SLAMing Is Better Than Algaecide

    Algecides is more of a preventative rather than a treatment product.

    A SLAM is better, because you are assured that everything in the water is dead. With the normal pool store shock & algecide treatment you will be back in the same boat, it's just a matter of time. We never say a SLAM is quicker, it just might not be. Then going forward maintaining the proper chlorine CYA ratio will assure that nothing comes back. Many people following traditional methods will just continue going through cycles of algae and lots of products being thrown in the pool.

    You can't force people to follow these methods, it just won't work.
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    SW Indiana

    Re: Help Explaining Why SLAMing Is Better Than Algaecide

    Welcome to TFP!

    Mostly because it works. Algaecide does a decent job of preventing algae, but it isn't much use in killing it. But if somebody doesn't want to hear it there isn't much you can do to convince them. Shock is chlorine, so they are really just randomly adding chlorine with no idea of whether it is too much or not enough. Kind of like shooting in the dark. If you shoot enough, you will hit something, but you waste a lot of bullets.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: Help Explaining Why SLAMing Is Better Than Algaecide

    Welcome to TFP!!

    Algaecide is used to help prevent algae and is no where near as effective at chlorine at killing the algae.

    Honestly, the SLAM may not work faster than blindly dropping a nuke load of chemicals in the water. But the SLAM process will not potentially damage the pool and equipment either.

    Kind of funny that they are worried about a some chlorine in the water, but more than happy to swim in all the other garbage chemicals.

    These might help:
    Defeating Algae
    Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparkling Oasis
    SLAM Process
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    Mod Squad Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Jun 2011

    Re: Help Explaining Why SLAMing Is Better Than Algaecide

    Welcome to TFP

    They are mistaken, badly. Chlorine is approved for drinking fact required by Law, and bleach is acceptable for that purpose. All levels we suggest for pools is safe to swim in, and this is backed by hard science. These folks simply aren't educated on the use of Chlorine.

    We run similar levels in many pools for the same purpose which is to sanitize the pool, along with killing/preventing Algae. One reason Algaecide is not good, because some of it contains copper. That can stain hair, and pools. Plus, most of it is for preventative measures not as a cure when you have it.
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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
    Central Minnesota

    Re: Help Explaining Why SLAMing Is Better Than Algaecide

    There are many "schools" of thought on the function of algaecide and it does depend on which type of algaecide you're referring to. There are the research schools and the pool store schools. Pool store "school" advice is based on selling product, not efficacy.

    Polyquat-60 is the best algaecide for swimming pools. Algaecides that contain metal compounds (most that contain metal are a copper) have side effects that can lead to staining of pool walls and should be avoided in any situation. Algaecide is actually a poor name for the product as yes, they are able to kill algae by disrupting their cell membranes but kill algae at a much slower rate that required by the EPA at their recommended dosages. Algaecide is best when use as an algae preventative when free chlorine levels are below what they normally would be such as during an ascorbic acid treatment to remove metals staining or to prevent winter/closed pool algae growth should the FC level drop while the pool is closed.

    This is a good thread talking about polyquat function and usage if you can delve into the scientific explanations and data:

    In layman's terms, algaecide does not kill algae or bacteria fast enough to be a valid method for eliminating an active algae bloom. Hypochlorite from bleach or powdered sources kills algae AND bacteria very quickly and fast enough as required by the EPA. Powdered forms all have downside of adding CYA, CH or much higher cost than bleach. You can use algaecide in combination with hypochlorite, but it's a waste of money. Algaecide is broken down by high levels of FC that are present when shocking a pool so you're just wasting money by putting both in at the same time.
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