Began this journal in case some other newbie like myself wants to know what happens, and how long it takes, to SLAM a pool. My pool was filthy and murky - looked like a pond left over from a construction site. Following a suggestion from a dude at Taylor Chemical, I added a quart of sequestrant (ProTeam Metal Magic) to remove the metals. Pool turned completely cloudy - could see clouds floating in the water - pretty while enjoying a Homebrew from my personal private stock, but my wife was not impressed. I commented to my complaining wife that our pool was unique. In what other city can you find a real alligator swamp, complete with authentic "aroma"? Possessing no aesthetic appreciation, my wife said she's going to a real swamp and get a real alligator to put in our pool. I told her to go ahead, because the stupid alligator couldn't survive in this swamp and would probably die in a few days anyhow. Pool visibility was only about 2 or 3 INCHES below the surface. The pool store told me to add some clarifier - which I did, but it didn't help at all. Found TFP and read all the instruction pages and some comments on the forums pertaining to filthy pools. After cleaning out about five feet of leaves, dead lizards, snakes, spiders, twigs and other creatures, I decided to SLAM my pool to see what it really looks like. Many thanks to Azgirl, Richard320 (TFP Expert) Tim (moderator) and David (moderator). Test kit is Taylor K-2006. KemTek (Chlorox) Bleach - 10%. Purchased 33 gals at Lowe's for $3.76 / gal.
11:30 am - FC 0.5; CC 0.5. Began SLAM ... brought FC up to 20 (based on CYA levels when I could still get an accurate reading). Brushed pool.
4:30 pm - FC had dropped to 15.5. Added Cl to bring it back to 20 and also add some D.E. to help clear out the cloudiness caused from the addition of sequestrant. Brushed pool.
7:30 pm - FC holding at 20 and CC rose to 1 ppm ... see where it's at in the morning.
8:00 am - FC 17, CC 1; for the L of it, tested PH - 7.8. Added some acid and Cl back to 20. Bought some D.E. from Lowe's for $4.99 / 24 #'s. Added 3 cups D.E. via TFP instruction, to skimmer. Brushed pool.
12:00 noon - FC 18.5, CC <0.5, pH 7.7. Pool starting to turn blue!!, but still cloudy. Added Cl back to 20. Hope the D.E. helps ... Brushed pool.
4:00 pm - FC 17 Added Cl back to 20 and 2 more cups D.E. to skimmer ... pool really getting blue and beginning to see the vinyl pattern in shallow end! Brushed pool.
7:30 pm - FC 18; Added Cl back to 20. Backwash to get rid of 5 cups of D.E. Added 3 cups D.E. after backwash. Begin to see vinyl pattern in deep end! Brushed pool.
10:30 am - FC 17.5; CC < 0.5; pH 7.8. Added Cl to 20; Acid to 7.4. Backwash and add D.E. Pool finally blue - can't see Main Drains yet. Still cloudy, but much better. Brushed pool.
3:00 pm - FC 17; pH 7.4 Added Cl to 20. Pool deep blue; can now see about 5' into the deep end. Still cloudy and cannot see the Main Drains .. but, it's getting there, quicker than I thought. Brushed pool.
7:00 pm - FC 24 (????) - How is this possible? Been very careful with water and taking care with powder and titration reagent ... no change in pool clarity.
8:00 am - FC 21; CC <0.5; pH 7.4; TA 90; CH 40; CYA 42. FC dropped 3 points during the night, so I'm guessing that last night's reading of 24 was accurate ... maybe I plugged in wrong number into calculator. Pool cannot get any bluer but still can't see to the bottom of the deep end - water is hazy and was considering adding Aqua Chem clarifier; but when I did the CYA test this morning I was getting readings similar to what I was getting before adding the ProTeam Metal Magic (MM). (After I added the MM, the pool was so cloudy my CYA >100.) Now with my CYA reading back to the level I had before adding the MM, obviously this means the water is clearing!!! Backwashed and added 3 cups of D.E.
12:00 noon - Ran out of titration reagent this morning. I had ordered some extra reagent last week from Amazon. The product has already shipped from the "seller facility" but they shipped it USPS (ugh - snail mail). The seller estimates delivery sometime between Jun 8 to June 18 - depending on when USPS gets around to delivering it ... should they eventually decide to! I added Cl based upon yesterday's reading at the same time. Went by pool store and bought some R-0003 - the dude told me it is the same as R-0871. Checked with Taylor when I got back home and Taylor said "...not the same...". Can finally see the two main drains in the deep end (just barely)! Haven't seen those since September, last year (it's now June)! Brushed pool.
4:30 pm - Added estimated amount of Cl to bring FC back to 20 (guessed that reading is the same as it was yesterday at 4:30 pm). Brushed pool. Water looks as good as other pool pictures I've seen on the web. Will continue with SLAM as TFP suggests - until water is crystal clear.
7:00 am) What a difference a night makes! My pool is clear, but still a little hazy. Can distinctly see the two main drains without using any imagination at all! Added estimated Cl to bring FC back up to 20. Backwashed, added D.E. and brushed pool. I'm going to continue the SLAM until crystal clear - should be there in the next two or three days.
Finally, if I would offer some advice to other "newbies" like myself, it is:
1. Pay no attention to You Tube videos, or other websites, where some dude says he cleared his pool in three days by adding gobs of algaecide, then gobs of flock, then vacuumed to waste ... that's BS ... I tried it and all it does is add more junk to your pool that you'll have to oxidize with bleach.
2. Pay no attention to your local pool store personnel - they don't really know what they're doing ... they are there to sell chemicals. I took water samples to my pool store everyday for two weeks. I spent over $430 on chemicals with only minor improvement.
3. Read the instruction pages on TFP Pool School. Look at some forums specific to your problem. There's a wealth of information and knowledge on this site, and, the people here definitely know what they're talking about.
4. Buy yourself a good test-kit ... one that gives you accurate FC readings. I used the Taylor K-2006 kit. I understand the TF100 is also an excellent kit ... both are available online for around $60 - $70. Be sure to buy some extra FC titration reagent before you begin. You'll be testing three or four times a day and you'll run out.
5. It takes a little "elbow-grease" but the result is well worth it. Make sure your pool is as free of debris as possible before you begin. I have a liner pool, so I brushed the pool walls and bottom with each application of bleach. If you have a sand-filter, follow TFP directions for adding it to the skimmer. Don't think that "...a little is good, so more is even better..." Adding more than recommended only increases pump pressure with no increase in filtration.
There you have it!