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Thread: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

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    Thumbs up LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    Hi all. Firstly I want to say that I've been using this site for all of our pool questions and love the Pool School and Pool Math. Thanks to whoever is responsible.

    I have an inground pool with approx. 23k gallons on a sand filter. Long story short, we got in trouble after some human error on a TA test earlier this month and got it too high, as well as the pH. We gave up for a week or so and I decided to dedicate today to trying to fix the levels and our now dark(almost black) green pool. It was fairly overcast most of the day and not a lot of direct sunlight. So this morning around 8:30 I broadcasted 1 gallon of muriatic acid, and tested one hour later and the TA came down to 80 and pH at 7.2. I then decided to start SLAMing. The first application was 6 lb. of 73% Cal-Hypo. Tested FC 30min later, and we had 1 ppm. So I then hammered on it and placed 10 lbs. of 73% Cal-Hypo and 4 gallons of bleach. Tested FC 30 min later and we were up to 14ppm. I let it go for one hour and we were back down to 4ppm of FC. So I hammered on it again with another run of some mixture of the dry shock and bleach. It started to show some progress as I was loosing less FC each time I tested, but I would broadcast more product to . I did this all day today and at 8:30pm I was back down to 4ppm of FC, so I put in almost all of what we had left to shock and just tested it at 9:45pm and came up with 8ppm of FC. All in all today, I used 24 lb of In The Swim Super Shock at 73% cal-hypo, 8 lb. HTH Super Select Shock at 56% cal-hypo, 6 121oz containers of 8.25% bleach, and 1 gallon of Austin's Pool Tech Liquid Shock. As a foot note, before starting, the CYA was 0.

    I feel that all of this is rather excessive and have dumped enough $$$ into this pool that it should be in my favor by now, and I feel defeated.....AGAIN.

    I sure hope I did something incorrectly, or missed something....because between this latest run and what we spent to 'open' the pool, it would of been easier to just completely drain the pool and refill it.

    I will report back in the AM, with the morning FC level...my hopes aren't high.

    Thanks in advance for input and reading about my struggle.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    Welcome to TFP!!

    I 'm sorry, but I have no idea where Selinsgrove is. If you could add a state to your profile it helps as some advice is specific to areas of the country. Additionally you have given us no details on your pool, so it would help us if you would add the following information to your signature -


    • The size of your pool in gallons
    • If your pool is an AG (above ground) or IG (in ground)
    • If it's IG, tell us if it's vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass
    • The type filter you have (sand, DE, cartridge)
    • If you know, tell us the make and model of your pump and filter.
    • List any other equipment you have: SWG, second pump, etc.
    • Please mention if you fill the pool from a well or are currently on water restrictions


    Information in your signature will show up each time you post. Signatures need to fit on five lines. It is fine to put several bits of information on the same line.

    Now, on to the advice.

    What test kit are you using?


    I get the feeling you think a SLAM is just throwing massive amounts of chlorine in multiple flavors at the pool and it will clear up in one day.

    A SLAM is a well regulated application of a specific amount of chlorine to attain the shock level for the particular pool. This shock level is determined by what the stabilizer/CYA level is in the pool. What is your CYA level?

    We recommend that you use liquid chlorine when conducting a SLAM as there is no delay as the product dissolves. Plus, I'm really afraid of what your CH level is in that pool now.

    A SLAM takes time. I will tell you, it didn't turn green overnight and it will take time to clear. You can figure many days of testing the water and adjusting the FC back up to shock level. Brushing the pool once a day is also required.

    So, back to pool school - Read the directions on SLAMing your pool in the How To section of Pool School and follow that procedure completely to the end.

    * 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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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    Welcome to TFP!

    We can definitely help you get your pool in shape. Answer Tim's questions and give us some test results and we can get to work.
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    Re: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    Im working on the signature now....some of the answers are in the post I wrote...but I will relist them...Im using a Taylor FAS-DPD test kit. My in-ground is somewhere between 20-23k gallons, and had a new vinyl liner installed last year. Runs on a hayward sand filter and pump, and Im on well water.

    pH: 7.5(was 7.2 before I started SLAMing, but 8.0+ before I added the muriatic acid)
    FC: All over obviously
    CC: Havent bothered to carry that test out since I didnt read about measuring it during this state of the game.
    TA: 80 (Was 175 before I added the muriatic acid)
    CH: 380 (Before I started SLAMing)....Im trying to use up the dry shock that I got before using all liquid. I never gave it a thought that all the dry shock would ballon the calcium level.
    CYA: 0

    Let me know what you think. Thanks.

    - - - Updated - - -

    We did brush and agitate the water every time we added chlorine today to help stir up the algae. Kept the skimmer and filter baskets empty as well. I dont know if Im missing anything else or not. Im trying to retrace my steps today and everything is a blur.
    16x32 In-ground @ 21k gallons. Second owner, purchased house in 2013. New GLI vinyl liner in 2014. Hayward S220T Sand Filter & Hayward 1HP Pump w/ 2 skimmers & returns.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    OK, no more CalHypo You were at 380 before you did that, so you are probably way too high. You want bleach, lots of bleach. 10 or 12.5% chlorinating liquid would be better, but I don't know about sources in PA.

    Go to WalMart tomorrow. Buy lots of bleach. They will think you are crazy, but you need it. Buy stabilizer, but don't put it in the water just yet, I want to test something.

    When you get home with the pump running add 2 gallons of the WalMart bleach. 30 minutes later test the water for chlorine. As you opened the pool with no CYA (it was there last year, correct?) it had ot go somewhere. There is a bacteria that can consume CYA and at times convert it to ammonia. If after 30 minutes the FC is back down to "0" you have ammonia in the water. The way to get rid of ammonia is the same as getting rid of algae, chlorine. But, ammonia consumes a lot of chlorine as it is oxidized, so you will be going through a lot, quickly. Ammonia will consume the chlorine almost as quickly as you pour it in the water. But, once the chlorine begins to hold and you get a reading the ammonia is generally gone.

    Once we have verified no ammonia, or you have removed it with bleach you need to add CYA via the sock method to get your level up to 30. It won;t registeron the test for a week, so don't bother testing. Just put the correct amount in a sock and hang it in front of a return.

    Now the SLAM begins. The pump should run 24/7

    With a CYA of 30 your target for FC is 12. maybe stretch that to 15 at times, but 12 is your goal. Starting with "0" FC that is 3 121oz bottles of 8.25% bleach. Wait at least an hour and test for FC again and add whatever chlorine Pool Math tells you you need to get back to 12. You will repeat this multiple times a day until your pool is clear. At least once a day you need to brush the entire pool.

    A SLAM takes a lot of effort, but when you are done you will have a beautiful 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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    Re: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    Just to make sure you understood that after the ammonia test, if FC is zero, don't add stabilizer.

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    Re: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    Well here's the thing, last year we got the liner and had our pool water trucked in, and we topped off the remainder with well water. I don't ever remember adding stabilizer last year and we had a major problem with algae at the end of last year too. We did manage to get the pool pretty clear before closing. When we tried to open it this year, I also added the stabilizer directly to the skimmer basket. I read somewhere that you could add it that way very slowly. So at one point earlier this month, we did have CYA up to 30.

    The place that had the 12.5% liquid shock doesnt have anymore, and I nabbed the last two gallons. I have one gallon of that left.

    We've been running the pump 24/7 since we fired it up June 1st, so no worries there.

    Should I still do the test tomorrow for ammonia?
    16x32 In-ground @ 21k gallons. Second owner, purchased house in 2013. New GLI vinyl liner in 2014. Hayward S220T Sand Filter & Hayward 1HP Pump w/ 2 skimmers & returns.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    One more point, if there is any debris in the pool scoop it out with a leaf rake to help speed up the SLAM and use less chlorine.
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    Re: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    Did you actually test the CYA at 30 after you added it to the pool?

    It is best to add CYA in a sock. You get to see it dissolve that way. Pouring it in the skimmer it gets stuck in the filter and you can backwash it out before it dissolves.
    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: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    Yeah, I tried my best with that today as I was trying to keep the skimmer baskets empty.....debris would come up off the bottom of the pool all day, but I can't see the bottom of the low end even.

    We have had a lot of rain lately here in PA, I dont know what volume of fresh water it takes to dilute CYA from 30 to 0, but I guess that could be a possibility too because I have not only backwashed a lot, but purged out any excess water above the skimmer waterline.
    16x32 In-ground @ 21k gallons. Second owner, purchased house in 2013. New GLI vinyl liner in 2014. Hayward S220T Sand Filter & Hayward 1HP Pump w/ 2 skimmers & returns.

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    Re: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    CYA in the skimmer can be okay, but if you have to backwash, you will lose whatever is yet undissolved.

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    Re: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    Did you actually test the CYA at 30 after you added it to the pool?

    It is best to add CYA in a sock. You get to see it dissolve that way. Pouring it in the skimmer it gets stuck in the filter and you can backwash it out before it dissolves.
    Yeah, I actually tested for it and got that result. We made sure we didnt backwash for 3 days I think it was.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    Just to make sure you understood all that, if FC is zero, don't add stabilizer.
    Im almost certain that when I added the CYA, we had FC of 0
    16x32 In-ground @ 21k gallons. Second owner, purchased house in 2013. New GLI vinyl liner in 2014. Hayward S220T Sand Filter & Hayward 1HP Pump w/ 2 skimmers & returns.

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    Re: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    30 is about the lower limit of the CYA test, so I'm going ot assume that if you have had any rain you have just lowered the level to where it's not reading on the test.

    Do the ammonia test, bu I think it will not show any and it will be time to SLAM. Lower your CYA addition to 20 rather than 30 because I really think it's still there and I don;t want you to go too high.
    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: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    This bacteria that eats CYA, is that killed off when SLAMing, or is that a different animal?

    Thanks for all of this late night....I mean early morning insight, lol
    16x32 In-ground @ 21k gallons. Second owner, purchased house in 2013. New GLI vinyl liner in 2014. Hayward S220T Sand Filter & Hayward 1HP Pump w/ 2 skimmers & returns.

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    Re: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    Yes, the ammonia will get "killed off" with bleach during a slam. You don't want to add more CYA (=food for ammonia) until you know for sure whether or not ammonia is the problem.

    If you did not run the recommended test, you can get an ammonia test kit tomorrow at a shop that carries aquarium supplies.

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    Re: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    Am I correct in assuming that it's best to add the CYA while I have the FC level at shock level, or when will I want to add that? I have been hesitant about raising the CYA while SLAMing because I already have a hard enough time hitting 10ppm of FC, and if I were to add in CYA, my target shock level needs to be even higher, correct?
    16x32 In-ground @ 21k gallons. Second owner, purchased house in 2013. New GLI vinyl liner in 2014. Hayward S220T Sand Filter & Hayward 1HP Pump w/ 2 skimmers & returns.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    Yes, it will be killed off when slamming. You can add cya anytime. Yes, you will have to raise the shock level for chlorine. But, the cya will also cut down on loss of chlorine to sunlight. You won't have so much trouble getting FC up after a day or two. It is worst in the beginning and usually gets better pretty fast. Especially if you scoop out all the debris.
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    Re: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    Good morning. We had rain last night. I'd guess about .25" or so. Pool is cloudier than when I went to bed. I just finished my testing and the results are:

    pH: 7.0
    FC: .5
    CC: 4.2
    TA: 100
    CH: 450
    CYA: 0
    Temp: 78*

    I'm on my way to collect bleach and begin today's madness.
    16x32 In-ground @ 21k gallons. Second owner, purchased house in 2013. New GLI vinyl liner in 2014. Hayward S220T Sand Filter & Hayward 1HP Pump w/ 2 skimmers & returns.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    Alright, let's see what the day has in store.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Double check that it is plain, unscented and not splashless or easy pour.
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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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    Re: LAST DITCH EFFORT....and I don't know what to do now

    Alright, I spread 2 gallons of plain 8.25% bleach at 8:45. Sun is out today unlike yesterday. Just tested FC here at 9:15, and I did the 10ml test, and it took 9 drops to clear, so 4.5ppm of FC. :smileyface:

    Should I bump it up target shock level now? Thanks a lot!
    16x32 In-ground @ 21k gallons. Second owner, purchased house in 2013. New GLI vinyl liner in 2014. Hayward S220T Sand Filter & Hayward 1HP Pump w/ 2 skimmers & returns.

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