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Thread: Getting pool back to normal

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    Getting pool back to normal

    I have an inground pool, approx 25000-30000 gallons, vinyl, sand filter. I don't have current measurements to report.

    Last year the pool was opened, but then the filter broke, and I left the pool just sitting there, so it got very green and murky. Stupidly, I think the solar cover was on it for most of the year too. Filter was fixed, and then the pool was given a cursory shock and a couple vacuums and allowed to filter/pump a bit, and closed.

    The pool store informed me that given the super super low (non existant) measurements of chlorine and algaecide, the pool would need a TON of chlorine, etc added. Like on the order of $300 of chlorine at least. OR, that water changes could be done, which we are now doing.

    The plan is to do three water changes (maybe more, if it's advised) or it would be nice to only have to do two. Each time trying to change around 30% of the water. To avoid having to spend as much on chemicals.

    From researching, I decided (of course) that the smartest thing to buy would be the 5.25% cheapest bleach. So after changing the water, what do I do? Add Borax and Baking Soda bits at a time to get the total alkalinity & pH good? And calcium chloride for calcium hardness. Assuming they are low, I figure they are very low. Does one have to come before the other? Then do I need to buy some other stabilizer so that the added chlorine doesn't go to waste, or does the Borax do that too/enough? Add some stabilizer, then add bleach, test, add more stabilizer, then more bleach on and on? (Meanwhile making sure the other 3 readings don't go funny.) What else? Easier ways/tricks given this situation?

    I know at the end I can vacuum, add Super Flock Out and run the filter a bunch, and repeat. Thank you very much!
    Inground oval approx 17.5' x 35' (with middle of deep end 9'?) so guessing 27000 gallons. Vinyl liner, BBB chlorine. Dolphin. Portable fullsize spa not currently in use.

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Getting pool back to normal

    Aqua,

    Welcome!

    I see no need to drain your water. Partial drains will not get rid of the algae and a full and complete drain is not only possibly dangerous but the algae will simply reappear.

    You can clear the pool for less money than you think.

    I would start by reading and rereading "Basic Pool Water Chemistry" in Pool School in the upper right corner of the homepage. It'll lead to several more questions and you'll get tons of good help.

    Essentially, you are on the right track to clear your pool with chlorine. You should start by removing as much of the solids (if any) in your pool with a net. Once you've got all the "muck" out that you can, it'll be time to start the chlorine but you need more info than you currently have and you need to be committed to a fairly long process (perhaps a week) to get that pool all the way to sparklling.

    This forum will help you every step of the way if you're willing to make the commitment.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Getting pool back to normal

    By far the most important thing to do is to get water test results. Nearly all of the details of what you do after that depends on the results of the water testing.

    You might want to read Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparking Oasis.

    To fight the algae you need to have some idea of your CYA level and it is best to balance your PH to between 7.2 and 7.4 before starting. After that you are going to need a lot of bleach. However, the details depend on the water test results.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Getting pool back to normal

    Thank you! Okay, I am trying to understand the Swamp guide. Is this definitely the right plan for me, or do you need numbers before you know for sure? I know the article said it works with swamps that have been there for months/years, yay! I understand most of the guide... please answer these questions about it so I can be clear:

    With my super high algae levels, might it be wise to get my CYA up to 30 ppm or 40 ppm or ?? ppm before starting so it can take more chlorine? It seems like only 20 ppm may not be enough? What level do I pick? (Then there's the big problem of stabilizer not seeming to do anything, see below.)

    When it talks about "you need to use another chlorine source", I don't have a clue what this might be. You mean other than me pouring in bleach every 1/2 hour then every hour? So yeah, besides me pouring in the bleach, what other chlorination type of things must be done.

    I am worrying that if I follow the guide after all the effort, it won't work? Please see this additional info and let me know if I need to alter the plan / add anything. My friend tried to adjust the pool last year but it wasn't working. At first it was brown/black color and he was trying to clean by hand to get the bigger clumps out, and by using the Dolphin cleaner. Eventually he started running the filter and the color was brownish and you could only see 4 inches down at this point. The pH and alkalinity was almost in good range and he was able to get it in good range. Then he ran the filter for 2 days. Then a lot of the material had settled back down to the bottom so he cleaned out more and more of it with the help of the filter and eventually you could barely see some of the shallow end of the pool. So he poured stabilizer into the skimmer but after doing so he didn't backwash for days like they warn you not to. And he says he put in lots even threw in a little chlorine and he would test and the readings (CYA i guess) would act like there was no stabilizer added. And kept trying stabilizer & stabilized chlorine and the readings kept saying 0 and 0 and 0 for FC and chlorine and stabilizer. In the end the quantity of stabilizer that was attempted was about 5-10 times a normal dosing instructed. And the pool store tested the water and they were saying it was the worst they have ever seen, they could not believe that it was ZERO and not even like ".1" after adding way more than normal doses. And he thinks they said the water sample in the end didn't have much algae even? So it seems like there is something else screwy going on with this pool? I think it had gotten a bunch of storm (rain) water in it and leaves too. Anyway that's how it ended last year before the pool was closed, in the end something like 50 lbs of chlorine was put in too. Oh and hardness was always measuring normal, we have hard water here.

    Also, no I don't have the type of test kit you recommended. I will get it if I am proceeding with the swamp guide/plan or if it's otherwise recommended. But as stated sometimes we were having the pool store test the water for us.

    Another thing is, right now we might still get some freezing cold weather, so he is not wanting to run the pool filter yet. So should we just wait until it's safe to run the filter before proceeding or what parts can be done now? In the past six months or so I am guessing it might have grown lots more algae or otherwise deteriorated. We have not looked under the cover yet. Hope that the above story gives you useful info and you can advise me.
    Inground oval approx 17.5' x 35' (with middle of deep end 9'?) so guessing 27000 gallons. Vinyl liner, BBB chlorine. Dolphin. Portable fullsize spa not currently in use.

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Getting pool back to normal

    Also this friend DOES have past successful experience with 'recovering' this particular pool from being a green swampy mess. (Especially when it had only been a mess for a month or so, but I'm pretty sure he did it once after it had been closed while swampy?) This time is different...?! Or maybe it's just a more extreme case but geez. Was there an error made with the timing of the stabilizer, etc -- I know you say it should go in a sock but at least he didn't backwash... how do I made the stabilizer "take" and what else needs to be known?

    BTW, the first water change is already complete. And he and I both think that it intuitively does make sense to do additional changes? If it does a bunch of good, diluting/cutting down the problem by 20% then it seems worth it. It seems like relatively little effort to do. Money wise it's not too good but not too bad I suppose.
    Inground oval approx 17.5' x 35' (with middle of deep end 9'?) so guessing 27000 gallons. Vinyl liner, BBB chlorine. Dolphin. Portable fullsize spa not currently in use.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Getting pool back to normal

    There really isn't much point in theorizing about what you need to do until after you have the water tested. Either buy a really good test kit (the best idea) or have the pool store test it for you, and then we will be able to tell you exactly what to do The key to taking care of a pool is knowing what is going on with the water through testing and then taking appropriate actions based on the results of the testing. If you start guessing about what to do, you are sure to make mistakes and will most likely just make things worse.

    There are specific water conditions that require replacing water. Nothing you have said indicates that you have one of those conditions. If you post water test results, we will know for sure if you need to replace water or not. Unless you have one of those conditions, there is no point in replacing water. Likewise, there is no point in speculating about adding CYA until you know what the current CYA level is.

    One way or another, we can help you get the pool back to looking wonderful. To do that we need water test results. Without water test results, all I can tell you is that you will need lots of chlorine/bleach at some point.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  7. Back To Top    #7
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Getting pool back to normal

    Hi and Welcome.

    Follow Jason's advice and the "green swamp" article to the letter and you WILL have a clear pool. The first step is the test kit, either the Taylor K-2006 or the TF-100- the TF-100 being the better deal. Without a good test kit you are guessing and that will get you nowhere.

    Last year on the forum there were a few threads about "dissappearing CYA". I don't think it was ever resolved what was causing it, but a few members reported varrying versions of unexplained CYA results. Some theories include certain organic situations that can consume CYA - so you may have something like that going on in your pool. However, the end result is the same - when the chlorine is high enough to do it's job everything else will fall into place, including the CYA.

    POP - Lots of POP - Pool Owner Patience. Read all the articles in Pool School, a couple times, and soon everything will start to click and make sense for you.

    Good luck, we're here to help and answer any questions!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Getting pool back to normal

    Hi and welcome to TFP!!

    Jason, et. al. have you covered with the basics of what needs be done and the need for chemistry #s before adding anything other than some bleach. With solid #s you can use Jason's calculator (see my sig or his to link to it) and we'll be able to tell you what and how much to add

    On the draining - as Duraliegh said, you probably don't need to - most likely there is nothing in the water that needs to be diluted (though if last years' tests were wrong on the cya level, you may have overdosed). Does your sand filter have a 'waste' (no relation :P ) option? If yes, you can vacuum the sediment and large debris to waste which will keep the filter from clogging too often - it will also require you to refill the amount of water vacuumed out and will, in essence, be like doing a partial drain with the added benefit of removing a bunch of the stuff on the bottom of the pool

    Please keep us informed as to your progress and we'll help get you to a trouble free pool as inexpensively as possible.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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