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Thread: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

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    Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    My pool has been green and cloudy for the past couple months and nothing I do seems to matter. There is a little algae on the steps but really it's not that bad compared to previous issues. We spot brush every day. The water looks like it is cloudy with green algae and it's not possible to see the bottom of the deepest half of the pool.

    I put the pool in 3 years ago (see stats in my sig). I had the SWG set at 40% when it started. We've had to drain a good deal of water 4 times over the past month due to excessive rain. This of course messes with chemical levels and has made a difficult year even more difficult. I've kept the salt level at 3100-3200 the entire time.

    First step: Shock using cal-hypo 65%, increase SWG to 100% and monitor. Got called away for work and wasn't able to test for a few days. A few days later FC was >5.

    Second step: Go to Leslie's for help. I've had a pool for 10 years and never needed major help before. CYA was 20. Bought powder CYA and water clarifier. CYA goes up to 70.

    Third step: Was lazy and only tested pH and FC. pH was back at 8, FC was at 0. Went back to Leslie's. They told me my CH was low, CYA was low, pH was high, FC was low, and phosphates was high (250). I verified CH, CYA, pH and FC using my TFT kit. I have to add 1-2 gallons of muriatic acid a week to keep pH down (due to EXTREMELY high CaCO3 in city water). I cleaned the filter and then increased CYA to 80 and CH to 220, pH dropped to 7.4, and turned off SWG. I also added Phosfree to reduce phosphatesx.

    Third step: Wait 48 hours, test again, pH: 8, FC:0. Go back to Leslie's. They tell me CYA is at 30 (TFT says 80) and phosphates are now 300.

    Next steps??

    I read a bunch of TFP threads and am planning to shock the pool using bleach. I have 8x 120oz bottles of 8.25% bleach based on the CYA chart and poolcalculator.com calculator to hit FC level of 31. Is this a good/bad idea? Filter pressure is up 8psi due to phosfree. It's raining today so I'm hoping to clean it tomorrow.

    My SWG was running at 100% for 72 hours and FC is still at 0. I've read that high phosphate levels can cause chlorine consumption. I've also read that all the algae in the water could be consuming all the chlorine. Could my cell be bad? Is it worth having Leslie's test it? It was working great a few weeks ago. Do salt cells go from working great to producing 0 chlorine in a matter of 2 weeks?

    Any recommended steps to test the SWG or to help clean up the water?
    Size: 21,000 w/SPA IG/Pebble & Hayward 400k BTU Heater
    Sanitizer: Hayward GLX-CELL-15-W 40K-Gallon Turbo Salt Cell + Bleach
    Filter: Hayward C5530 Cartridge Filter w/ 2-speed 2.5hp pump
    Cleaner: Black Polaris 280 w/ Booster Pump
    Install: Mar 2012, city water (no restrictions), Test kit: TF-100, Salt, Borate

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    bbodb1's Avatar
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    Re: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    RD,

    It won't take long for people who know a lot more than I do about you specific situation to stop by and comment, but in the meantime, have you read the Pool School and SLAM articles? Reading threads is great (that's what got me started here) but the info in Pool School really helps.
    20K gal, IG vinyl, Waterfall on 2nd pump (1HP US Motor), Dolphin cleaning system, Central Arkansas, installed 1999
    1HP Emerson (main pump), Purex Triton II (TR 60) Sand Filter (replaced original 2016), Purex Triton Mini Max Plus 250 Heater (unused for several years)

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    RD, you have the best tool in your toolbox already - the TF-100. So unless you're going to Leslies to buy some liquid shock (bleach), just stay away from them for a while - especially for testing or chemical advise. Don't put anything else in your pool right now except for bleach as required by the CYA chart (SLAM level). If you're seeing any algae, however small, it's there and you need to hit it now. Believe me, those miracle products at the pool store aren't worth the money and you'll just end-up frustrated. Start doing the SLAM now, and don't use ANY other chlorinating products other than bleach since your CYA is starting to get kind of high. The bleach is pure sanitizer and will help augment your SWG, so stick with it. Post some new test numbers from your own testing soon so we can see how it's going.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    Any recommended steps to test the SWG or to help clean up the water?
    1. Stay out of the Pool Store...permanently.

    2. Please carefully read the instructions in the TF-100 and perform every test and post those results.

    From there, we can tell you how to test your SWG and how to get your pool crystal clear. I mean it about the pool store.....you are only getting confused going in there. We'll get your pool crystal clear.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Task's Avatar
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    Re: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    I second that. Pool School has a wealth of knowledge available to you, but you have to read it. I don't know much about SWG's as I don't have one, but if your pool is green, you're going to need to SLAM. Pool store test results are notoriously inaccurate. If you have one of the recommended test kits from TFTestkits.net, everyone here would be in agreement by saying that you should trust your own test results over the results given to you from Leslies. There is no telling how long the SLAM will take, it all depends on how aggressive you are and how much time you have available to test and dose with bleach. You'll definitely need more then 8 gallons so I'd start stocking up ASAP and I'm sure someone with a little more knowledge will be along shortly to help out.
    16'x32' Inground Vinyl, 21,100 gallons, Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump, Hayward Pro Series S244T 3.1ft Sand Filter
    TFTestKits, Pool School, ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry, Chlorine/CYA Chart, PoolMath

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    Re: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    I'll retest as soon as the storm passes but for now, numbers as of last night according to TF-100:

    pH: 8
    FC: 0
    Salt: 3100
    CH: 220
    CYA: 80
    Size: 21,000 w/SPA IG/Pebble & Hayward 400k BTU Heater
    Sanitizer: Hayward GLX-CELL-15-W 40K-Gallon Turbo Salt Cell + Bleach
    Filter: Hayward C5530 Cartridge Filter w/ 2-speed 2.5hp pump
    Cleaner: Black Polaris 280 w/ Booster Pump
    Install: Mar 2012, city water (no restrictions), Test kit: TF-100, Salt, Borate

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    Add muratic acid per Pool Math to get pH down to 7.2 Do it in a coupold of steps to keep from overshooting down into the 6's

    Once at 7.2 You want to SLAM your pool. A SLAM is a continuous process of adding chlorine to a pool multiple times a day over multiple days until the pool is completely clear/clean, not a one time addition of chlorine. Additionally, you should be using liquid chlorine; (8.25% bleach or 10/12.5% chlorinating liquid). Solid forms of chlorine are adding things you may not need to your pool.

    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);
    • The water is clear.


    When all three are true, you are done SLAMing and can allow the FC to drift down to normal levels.
    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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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    I'm new here and I won't give any advice (as there are plenty of moderators and experts on this forum to do the advice thing), but I will say this - listen to everything the TFP Experts and Moderators here tell you to do and check out all the information in PoolSchool. I've been doing the BBB and TFPC method for years now and IT WORKS! Other than vinyl fish-shaped floaties and pool noodles, ALL pool stores are useless. They are simply in business to sell you expensive chemical products that you do not need. I saw it estimated somewhere once that if the majority of pool owners followed the simple methods taught here, the pool store industry would collapse and I believe it. They make money by keeping you confused and selling you every bit of snake-oil they can.

    Good luck!
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    The storm broke for a little while so I tested. Question: How long does bleach take to register? I added 8 bottles of 8.25% bleach 2 hours ago to hit a FC of 31 and here are the results:

    pH: 8.0
    FC: 12
    Salt: 2800
    CH: 280
    CYA: 70
    TA: 110

    How often do I need to add bleach? SLAM says not more than once per hour. Is it OK to do it now?
    Size: 21,000 w/SPA IG/Pebble & Hayward 400k BTU Heater
    Sanitizer: Hayward GLX-CELL-15-W 40K-Gallon Turbo Salt Cell + Bleach
    Filter: Hayward C5530 Cartridge Filter w/ 2-speed 2.5hp pump
    Cleaner: Black Polaris 280 w/ Booster Pump
    Install: Mar 2012, city water (no restrictions), Test kit: TF-100, Salt, Borate

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    Quote Originally Posted by rdmustang View Post
    The storm broke for a little while so I tested. Question: How long does bleach take to register? I added 8 bottles of 8.25% bleach 2 hours ago to hit a FC of 31 and here are the results:

    pH: 8.0
    FC: 12
    Salt: 2800
    CH: 280
    CYA: 70
    TA: 110

    How often do I need to add bleach? SLAM says not more than once per hour. Is it OK to do it now?
    You missed the part about getting your pH down before you start. The pH test is affected by FC above 10 so it is unreliable at that point.
    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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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    I didn't notice anything about specifically not adding more bleach per hour, although it did say to ensure you put enough in to meet and maintain your required FC "SLAM" level. Since your CYA is quite high, it will take more bleach to meet that level, so you'll have to be vigilant and have lots on-hand. Also, chlorine gets used more quickly in the early SLAM stages. You will see progress.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    Oh, and RD .. to be clear like everyone else .... I went to Leslies today. I grinned as I watched others buy products I knew would not work. Then I grabbed a small container of granule stabilizer, asked for a box of liquid shock (chlorine), and I got out of there as quick as I could. Except for those two items, and perhaps a piece of equipment (gasket, brush, toy, etc) I don't waste my money there on ANY chemicals. Stick with the advice of those on this site and you'll be thrilled.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    The hourly maximum rule is to allow the chlorine time to circulate and prevent someone from wasting reagent. Doing it hourly will help the SLAM go faster but any more often could give you some strange number fluctuations.

    As was said too, don't worry about your pH, you can't measure it with FC above 10. Right now just measure your FC and CC.

    From my HTC One via Tapatalk
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    welp, ok then.
    Your FC is disappearing so quickly because of the algae.
    SLAM - Slam Level and MAINTAIN. Maintain means dont let your FC get below slam level if you can help it at all. If that means adding bleach every hour, then thats what you have to do. The harder you hit it, the quicker this will all go.

    Regarding your pH, let the FC drift down to below 10. Test pH and lower it to 7.2 if thats what needs to be done. Then start the SLAM over.
    Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    You will have passed the slam when
    1. Your CC is <.5 (1 drop to clear)
    2. You pass the OCLT test
    3. Your water is perfectly clear

    You need to backwash or clean your filter when the pressure rises 25% above the clean pressure.

    Once you pass the slam, then you need to maintain your FC at a level of 11.5% of your CYA. Here is a chart that already has the math done for different levels of CYA.
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart
    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: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    Sorry, I have a bad habit of not paying attention to adjusting pH. It's something I instinctively do and have it down pretty well without testing (I still test to validate). My pH rises 0.5 every day and has to be constantly adjusted. If I adjust to 7.2 it will be 8+ in a day and a half.

    I just added 32oz of muriatic acid and will add another 32oz later tonight which will get my pH down to 7.2.
    Size: 21,000 w/SPA IG/Pebble & Hayward 400k BTU Heater
    Sanitizer: Hayward GLX-CELL-15-W 40K-Gallon Turbo Salt Cell + Bleach
    Filter: Hayward C5530 Cartridge Filter w/ 2-speed 2.5hp pump
    Cleaner: Black Polaris 280 w/ Booster Pump
    Install: Mar 2012, city water (no restrictions), Test kit: TF-100, Salt, Borate

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    Re: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post

    Regarding your pH, let the FC drift down to below 10. Test pH and lower it to 7.2 if thats what needs to be done. Then start the SLAM over.
    Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    Newbie here but a long time doing BBB - may I offer a trick for testing pH at high FC?

    So, if you let your FC just drift down to say 15ppm (something between 10ppm and 20ppm) then you can dilute you pool water sample with an equal part of DISTILLED water (the stuff you buy in the supermarket for coffee pots and irons....NOT bottled water or tap water). Then, you can test the pH of the diluted sample and get a decent pH value even at high FC.

    This works because DISTILLED water has a pH of ~7.0 and almost no alkalinity (you can test it out by measuring DISTILLED water with your reagents). Because the pool water has a much higher TA than the DISTILLED water, the pool water will resist changing pH during dilution. What the dilution does do is get your FC down below 10ppm thus allowing you to test pH.

    It's not a perfect solution but it avoids dropping the FC so low that the SLAM no longer is killing algae.

    Just my 2 cents. I don't think knowing the exact pH at this point is all that important. I personally would just proceed with the FC additions and forget about the pH but sometimes folks really want to know....
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Newbie here but a long time doing BBB - may I offer a trick for testing pH at high FC?

    So, if you let your FC just drift down to say 15ppm (something between 10ppm and 20ppm) then you can dilute you pool water sample with an equal part of DISTILLED water (the stuff you buy in the supermarket for coffee pots and irons....NOT bottled water or tap water). Then, you can test the pH of the diluted sample and get a decent pH value even at high FC.

    This works because DISTILLED water has a pH of ~7.0 and almost no alkalinity (you can test it out by measuring DISTILLED water with your reagents). Because the pool water has a much higher TA than the DISTILLED water, the pool water will resist changing pH during dilution. What the dilution does do is get your FC down below 10ppm thus allowing you to test pH.

    It's not a perfect solution but it avoids dropping the FC so low that the SLAM no longer is killing algae.

    Just my 2 cents. I don't think knowing the exact pH at this point is all that important. I personally would just proceed with the FC additions and forget about the pH but sometimes folks really want to know....
    This is really not a method endorsed by TFP. When the pH is at the fringes, ie low or high, you may not know how high or low it really is. At this point in the SLAM the FC is going to drift below 10 many times. It is best to get it adjusted rather than just ignoring it.
    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: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    Should my pump run full speed 24x7 until I'm done SLAMing? If I'm not adding bleach (while sleeping) should I turn it off?

    Also, I have extra phosfree that I can't return. Should I use it?
    Size: 21,000 w/SPA IG/Pebble & Hayward 400k BTU Heater
    Sanitizer: Hayward GLX-CELL-15-W 40K-Gallon Turbo Salt Cell + Bleach
    Filter: Hayward C5530 Cartridge Filter w/ 2-speed 2.5hp pump
    Cleaner: Black Polaris 280 w/ Booster Pump
    Install: Mar 2012, city water (no restrictions), Test kit: TF-100, Salt, Borate

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    I don't believe it needs to be on FULL speed, but definitely do not turn it off. You want to keep that water moving.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Another Frustrated Pool Owner

    Give that phosfree to someone you don't like.

    You can run the pump on low speed.

    Seems like maybe another read through of the SLAM process is in order.
    Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    - - - Updated - - -

    After your Slam the following articles will keep you from having to Slam again.

    Here are some of my fave Pool School articles in case you missed any of them.
    TFPC for Beginners
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry

    Here are the Recommended Levels for your pool.
    Here is the Water Balance for a saltwater pool.
    Here are the Recommended Pool Chemicals and how to add them.
    Use PoolMath to figure out how much to add.
    TFP Moderator
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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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