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Thread: Recovering the swamp for summer 2015

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    Recovering the swamp for summer 2015

    I'm a few days into the SLAM process and feeling like things are stalling and would love some input/advice/feedback on what I may be doing wrong.

    Our pool has stayed open for the past 2 winters and I never did get it revived last year (we're renovating the house it's at, so we live down the street right now and the pool was not a priority last summer). But we're a month or so from moving in so I want to get things cleaned up for this summer. However not covering the pool for the last 2 winters means come construction debris, sand, and lots of leaves made it's way to the bottom. I've gotten a TON out since the spring, but am still struggling with just a few leaves showing up whenever I brush the deep end, and there's a consistent layer of sand (dead algea from SLAMing?) on the entire pool bottom.

    I started SLAMing on Wednesday and the pool was a dark, murky swamp. So all things considered, we've made decent progress. Right now I can see the shallow end to the bottom, although it is cloudy and I see the layer of sand/dead matter at the bottom.

    I've been trying to get the FC to shock level at 12 consistently about 2-3 times a day, and this morning FCT was 3.5. I added the needed bleach, then at 3pm my readings were...

    FC 6.5
    pH 7.2
    TA 120
    CYA 20

    I am almost out of bleach so I didn't bring it back up to 12 again (going to buy some in the morning, and right now it's pouring down rain so maybe just as well?), but I did add about 2.5 lbs of stabilizer to get my CYA up. So am I on the right track? This is my 3rd attempt to get it right this summer and each time I get a few days in, get tired of spending $$ on bleach or get busy and can't get out to the house enough, and it's back to square one. So I'm determined not to let it all go again, but I feel stuck. It's definitely gotten clearer from where I started but now the last 2/2.5 days have seemed the same. I'm vacuuming, brushing, shocking, etc. Do I need to bring my pH up a bit?

    Help! I just wish we'd drained and started fresh...so frustrating!
    ~22,000 Gallon Dark Plaster IG Pool
    Hayward Sand Filter - Sand replaced in 2013
    Breeze 540 SWG
    TF-100 Test Kit
    South Carolina, USA

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Recovering the swamp for summer 2015

    Sounds like you get the concept, but the key is to get that FC level up and keep it there. The more time you spend with the FC too low, the longer the process will take.

    Have you been testing the CC too?

    Leave the pH, it is fine to get back into the SLAM.

    Sounds like your pool has been neglected for 2 years ... why would you expect to get it fixed in few days? The SLAM process can take awhile, like weeks, depending on your diligence.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Recovering the swamp for summer 2015

    You are determined ...great! Stay that way. Be patient. Where's what I see:
    - CYA low but you have added - good. But it will take a few day s to climb, so you may go through more bleach. Have it ready
    - SLAM FC level (bleach) is 10 at your low CYA, but would be 12 at 30. I would suggest keeping it at 12 and do NOT let it drop. If your CYA climbs higher than 30, the you may need to go up even higher.
    Other levels are fine, so KEEP SLAMMING! Don't stop, don't back-off. Keep the pump on 24/7 and continue to brush, vacuum, and backwash as needed. It's important you keep the pool water agitated to make that algae "mad" and exposed so the bleach can work. Get out as much "muck" as you can to help.

    Again, focus on FC staying at minimum of 12, and don't be surprised it the SLAM takes a few more days to a week or so. Some pools scenarios are just more stubborn. Post more levels tomorrow if needed and we'll take a look. Good luck!
    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
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    Re: Recovering the swamp for summer 2015

    Awesome feedback, thank you. I think more than anything I need to know that this is a long process and to keep at it. Glad to hear I at least have the concept and am on the right track. I did wonder if I was just not keeping the FC high enough consistently enough. So as crazy as it sounds, that may mean dumping bleach 5, 6, 7+ times a day? I've been dumping usually just morning and lunch or morning and evening. Good to know. I'll work harder at keeping at or above 12 and keep the pool water moving.

    Thanks! I may be back in a few days for more help.
    ~22,000 Gallon Dark Plaster IG Pool
    Hayward Sand Filter - Sand replaced in 2013
    Breeze 540 SWG
    TF-100 Test Kit
    South Carolina, USA

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Recovering the swamp for summer 2015

    You got it .... many additions may be needed at the start of the process due to all the junk in the water. As the process goes on, you may not need to test and add as often.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Recovering the swamp for summer 2015

    Alrighty, sounds good. And also, no I have not been testing for CC's. Haven't quite understood what that reading says/means... :-/
    ~22,000 Gallon Dark Plaster IG Pool
    Hayward Sand Filter - Sand replaced in 2013
    Breeze 540 SWG
    TF-100 Test Kit
    South Carolina, USA

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    Re: Recovering the swamp for summer 2015

    Hey all, checking back in. Still at it, trying to keep the shock level as close to 14/15 (14 is my new shock level with my raised CYA), and haven't let it get below 8.5 since the weekend. Definitely seeing improvement but it is slow, which you all said to expect. Patience is the name of the game. When I vacuum the deep end, I can see the bag on the vacuum. But the drain down there still is not visible. There doesn't seem to be any real debris left in the pool other than that layer of sand/dead algea that continues to float around and end up back on the bottom. I've vacuumed on waste a few times but my suction is not great, and I'm still brushing 4ish times a day to stir everything back up. I just wanted to be sure I'm still on the right track and see if there was anything else I can be doing to help the effort. I've tested my CC once a day now, and it has been at .5 each time. If I still just need to keep at it, at what point is the SLAM over? How clear does it need to be? Does my CC need to be 0? And I need to pass an OCLT correct?

    Sorry for all the questions, thanks for all your help!
    ~22,000 Gallon Dark Plaster IG Pool
    Hayward Sand Filter - Sand replaced in 2013
    Breeze 540 SWG
    TF-100 Test Kit
    South Carolina, USA

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Recovering the swamp for summer 2015

    Yep, you are doing the right stuff. removing debris and brushing are the two best things to speed up the SLAM.

    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.

    Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    How clear is clear? There is a thread about clear water that has been fairly active lately. I have pics of clear water in my build thread in my sig. Water is clear, TFP-style, when you can call heads or tails on a quarter.
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    jwhop3's Avatar
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    Re: Recovering the swamp for summer 2015

    For stubborn, powdery debris that likes to blow back through the returns whhile vaccuming, or just doesn't get caught by sand or DE, try this trick, I SWEAR by it.

    SlimeBag for 1/10 of the price, yes you can!!

    Also, try to capture that sandy debris from the bottom and examine it. If it is actually sand, you need to check your filter for a busted lateral. When having to vaccum a lot to remove a lot of debris, you can blow those things out. I have made a habit of ordering 2-3 new ones every year before opening, just so I don't delay getting my pump running.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Yep, you are doing the right stuff. removing debris and brushing are the two best things to speed up the SLAM.

    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.

    Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    How clear is clear? There is a thread about clear water that has been fairly active lately. I have pics of clear water in my build thread in my sig. Water is clear, TFP-style, when you can call heads or tails on a quarter.
    If you're not already using one, pipck up a Leaf-Gulper from Lowes, the kind that hooks to your garden hose and pulls the leaves into the mesh bag by venturi action. DON'T run that through your filter, even if you are straining your skimmer. You will blow out a lateral, thus the sand on the bottom of your pool.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Recovering the swamp for summer 2015

    Great, thanks for the reassurance and references on clear water & getting that leftover powdery stuff. Jwhop, I currently use a Leaf-Gulper for most of my vacuuming needs, and that's been a lifesafer for getting all of the big debris out of the deep end that accumulated over the last two years. I don't try to vacuum any of that through the filter, only the layer of dead stuff on the bottom (always on waste so it's not being recirculated). I will have my husband inspect the filter for any damage, but where we live the soil is primarily sand-based, and a lot of the debris in the pool has blown in from our house renovation, too, so I am doubtful we have an issue with anything busted in the filter. Still good to know to look for, though! I checked out your link quickly...am on the run so I'll need to circle back and read again, but essentially this part screws into where? The return? And catches all of the junk that keeps getting recirculated? Oh man this pool stuff goes right over my head.

    Thanks again!
    ~22,000 Gallon Dark Plaster IG Pool
    Hayward Sand Filter - Sand replaced in 2013
    Breeze 540 SWG
    TF-100 Test Kit
    South Carolina, USA

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    jwhop3's Avatar
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    Re: Recovering the swamp for summer 2015

    Yup, if you go to Lowes, get a 1.5 inch threaded coupler, a section of 1.5" PVC pipe (3-4 inches should be plenty, then a 1.5" slip coupler, then finally a hose clamp like you attach your dryer vent hose with. Glue the two couplers together with the short section of PVC so there is a 2" gap of pvc pipe, this is where the hose clamp will grip the bag. Once assembled, just remove your return jet and screw in so that the water is blowing through the bag into the pool.

    Remove and rinse when it turns brown. I usually unclamp the bag and pull the bag over a fence post and spray down through the bag from the outside, you will be amazed how much crud gets flushed out.

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