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Thread: Help me get things under control

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    Help me get things under control

    My pool was bought as a foreclosure.
    The pool had been sitting un-cared for, for at least two years. It was a green swamp.
    I've had it at shock levels for at least a week, and it has gone from bright green to a lovely shade of blue. But not a clear blue, more like a milky blue. I can see down 1.5 steps (which is an improvement).
    It has a 420 sq ft CARTRIDGE filter, that I've rinsed 3 times so far, the last time it only went 2 hours before needing cleaning. So, I'm not getting as much filter time as I'd like. Boy what a pain.

    Here are my numbers right now:

    FC=9
    CC=.5
    TC=9.5
    T/A = 50
    CH =50
    pH is about 8. I've used 2 gallons of Muriatic Acid (about a half gallon at a time), and it comes down then goes right back up.
    CYA was 0, but I've added 4 pounds of CYA directly to the pool. I think it may be getting sucked up into the filter, because I've seen white granular stuff in the filter the two times I rinsed after adding the CYA. That amount of CYA should have brought me up to 20, but I'm not counting on it.

    I've used 2 packets of HTH shock (cal-hypo) and two 3inch Trichlor pucks to maintain the shock levels. Along with almost 20 gallons of bleach. I think I've won the algae battle, but don't dare let the chlorine levels fall.

    I know I still have some leaves in there, but I've already fished two garbage bags worth out already (prior to shocking), and I'm sure their aren't THAT many left. The in-floor cleaning system brings them up every now and then (when the filter is newly rinsed), so I fish them out as I see them.

    I know my T/A and CH are low, and I plan on fixing that, eventually. What should my major priority be right now?

    This is turning into a full time job for me. Any helpful hints would be appreciated.
    In-Ground. White Marbelite plaster. 21'-7" x 38' Figure Eightish Custom diving pool with 9' deep end. 24,750 Gallons. Pentair Challenger 2 hp pump, Pentair Clean and Clear Plus CCP420 Cartridge Filter, Paramount PCC-2000 In Floor Cleaning system with Debris Canister. Pool/House was a foreclosure that sat dormant for at least 2 years, and was an actual swamp. Using BBB and POP I made it a sparkling backyard oasis. I have a TF100 kit, and I know how to use it (mostly!). This is my FIRST REAL pool, but thanks to TFP, I know what I'm doing! (mostly!).

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Sarasota Florida
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    Re: Help me get things under control

    Quote Originally Posted by aaronp
    My pool was bought as a foreclosure.
    The pool had been sitting un-cared for, for at least two years. It was a green swamp.
    I've had it at shock levels for at least a week, and it has gone from bright green to a lovely shade of blue. But not a clear blue, more like a milky blue. I can see down 1.5 steps (which is an improvement).
    It has a 420 sq ft CARTRIDGE filter, that I've rinsed 3 times so far, the last time it only went 2 hours before needing cleaning. So, I'm not getting as much filter time as I'd like. Boy what a pain.

    Here are my numbers right now:

    FC=9
    CC=.5
    TC=9.5
    T/A = 50
    CH =50
    pH is about 8. I've used 2 gallons of Muriatic Acid (about a half gallon at a time), and it comes down then goes right back up.
    CYA was 0, but I've added 4 pounds of CYA directly to the pool. I think it may be getting sucked up into the filter, because I've seen white granular stuff in the filter the two times I rinsed after adding the CYA. That amount of CYA should have brought me up to 20, but I'm not counting on it.

    I've used 2 packets of HTH shock (cal-hypo) and two 3inch Trichlor pucks to maintain the shock levels. Along with almost 20 gallons of bleach. I think I've won the algae battle, but don't dare let the chlorine levels fall.

    I know I still have some leaves in there, but I've already fished two garbage bags worth out already (prior to shocking), and I'm sure their aren't THAT many left. The in-floor cleaning system brings them up every now and then (when the filter is newly rinsed), so I fish them out as I see them.

    I know my T/A and CH are low, and I plan on fixing that, eventually. What should my major priority be right now?

    This is turning into a full time job for me. Any helpful hints would be appreciated.
    From what i understand cya needs to be in a sock or something as it can take a week to dissolve. You may be sucking up the cya long before it can dissolve and then washing it away with a filter clean.
    Kidney shaped ~ 10000 gallon Ig Plaster pool with pool cage. 120sf Cartridge filter. Pentair WhisperFlo WFDS-26, 230 Volt, 7.8/3.0 Amp, 1-1/2 Horsepower 2 speed pump, Solar panels on the roof. Heliotrope HelioMatic 4000D solar controller.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help me get things under control

    It is time to stock up on POP, pool owner patience! It took two years of neglect for the poll to get to this point, it is going to take a little while for you to rescue it. It sounds like you are making some great progress, keep at it for not too much longer and you will have a clear pool!

    Since you have an in-floor cleaning system, the cleaning system is going to push the substantial amounts of debris on the floor right into the filter. That is a good thing, but it does mean lots of filter cleanings. You are lucky, you have a fairly large filter. If you had a smaller filter it would be worse.

    For now, the focus is on keeping the FC level up, and keeping the filter clean.

    As mdhwoods suggested, you have probably lost a good part of your CYA when you cleaned the filter. I am sure there is some CYA in the water, but it won't be as much as you added. That is going to cause you to lose a good portion of your chlorine to sunlight each day. You can compensate for this by adding lots of chlorine in the evenings, and less during the day. You still have to add some chlorine during the day, because you don't want the FC level to ever get to zero. But by focusing most of the chlorine in the evening, you will use less total chlorine.

    Any time FC is below 10, and PH is above 7.8, you should bring the PH down to somewhere around 7.4. Don't worry about the PH if FC is above 10.

    You are going to need to raise the CH level substantially, up to 250 at a minimum. You could do a little of that now. I suggest raising CH to 100. But the rest of the increase needs to wait till the water is clear and you are done shocking.

    Have you been remembering to clean out the debris containment canister? That probably needs to be done more often than cleaning the filter for right now.
    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

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Help me get things under control

    Quote Originally Posted by mdhwoods

    From what i understand cya needs to be in a sock or something as it can take a week to dissolve. You may be sucking up the cya long before it can dissolve and then washing it away with a filter clean.
    Exactly! Good catch.
    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

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Help me get things under control

    Yes, the sock thing would have been a good idea. When I added the CYA to the pool, I mistakenly thought that the filter would go for more than a couple of hours before it needed cleaned again. I actually had the stupid idea that it wouldn't need to be cleaned for a couple of days.

    Is there a liquid form of CYA that I can buy that will act instantly?

    And yes, I've been cleaning the debris canister. I have a routine down. Clean filter, clean pump basket, clean debris canister, clean skimmer basket, run pump, clean filter, clean pump basket, clean debris canister, clean skimmer basket, run pump, repeat.....

    I've switched to a new filtering strategy lately. I've installed skimmer socks in the skimmer basket and debris canister (ok, cheap knee-high panty hose). Now when the flow slows down, I take them out and spray the socks off and the flow comes back up. This, or dumb luck, extended the last filtering session to about 4 hours. I call it my pre-filter. I can spray the socks off in a matter of seconds, rather than the hour it takes to do a filter cleaning.
    In-Ground. White Marbelite plaster. 21'-7" x 38' Figure Eightish Custom diving pool with 9' deep end. 24,750 Gallons. Pentair Challenger 2 hp pump, Pentair Clean and Clear Plus CCP420 Cartridge Filter, Paramount PCC-2000 In Floor Cleaning system with Debris Canister. Pool/House was a foreclosure that sat dormant for at least 2 years, and was an actual swamp. Using BBB and POP I made it a sparkling backyard oasis. I have a TF100 kit, and I know how to use it (mostly!). This is my FIRST REAL pool, but thanks to TFP, I know what I'm doing! (mostly!).

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Help me get things under control

    Good plan - save yourself some work!

    Yes, some stores do carry liquid stabilizer, it does however tend to be more expensive. The nice thing is it will register that day, you don't have to wait a week to test for it.
    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

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    Re: Help me get things under control

    it does however tend to be more expensive.
    Not sure, but I think I remember somebody saying it was about triple.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Help me get things under control

    http://www.intheswim.com/Pool-Chemicals ... nditioner/
    $29/gallon
    pinch a penny also carries it, but they don't list prices on their website.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Help me get things under control

    So, I've gone from this:

    to this:


    Boy is this frustrating. That's after a full week of messing with it. I think it was actually clearer when it was green. (All the solids were nicely settled on the bottom when I took the first picture).

    If I called a pool company to come out and clean the pool, how would they do it? I know they wouldn't be here for a week straight cleaning the filters every couple of hours.
    In-Ground. White Marbelite plaster. 21'-7" x 38' Figure Eightish Custom diving pool with 9' deep end. 24,750 Gallons. Pentair Challenger 2 hp pump, Pentair Clean and Clear Plus CCP420 Cartridge Filter, Paramount PCC-2000 In Floor Cleaning system with Debris Canister. Pool/House was a foreclosure that sat dormant for at least 2 years, and was an actual swamp. Using BBB and POP I made it a sparkling backyard oasis. I have a TF100 kit, and I know how to use it (mostly!). This is my FIRST REAL pool, but thanks to TFP, I know what I'm doing! (mostly!).

  10. Back To Top    #10
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Help me get things under control

    Save yourself the money. You are in the home stage, based on the pics. This has been a week, right? Remember, that pool sat there that way for 2 years. POP, more POP

    The algae turns this grey milky color and like you said, since it's mixed up now it looks worse clarity wise than before. You haven't been adding any calcium have you?

    You should find yourself not having to clean the filter as much. Are you cleaning the filter so often because the pressure guage indicates it? Because sometimes a slightly dirty filter, filters "better"....and since you are in the home stage I can't see you needed to clean it so often. Certainly not 2-4 hours. Keep using the skimmer socks. Do you have your manual for the filter? It should give a recommendation on when to clean the filter based on pressure readings....I think mine is like 8psi rise and it should be cleaned. But your cart is very large so you should be able to go longer between cleanings...

    Keep shocking and run that pump 24/7.

    You are done shocking when:
    Your lose 1pmm or less of FC overnight;
    your CC is .5 or less;
    your water is clear.

    Hope this helps.
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Help me get things under control

    Found your manual online - it says clean it after an 8-10 psi rise. So write down what the pressure number is after you've cleaned it, and then when it's risen 8-10 psi you should hose it off.

    Have you noticed the pressure guage during this process, if it has risen for you as it becomes dirtier?

    (When all the issues with your water chemistry have been tackled, and the pool is perfectly balanced... there is an article in Pool School (further reading section) on the recommended methods for cleaning a cartridge filter. So if you've been hosing it off now, in the future (but wait till your water issues are solved) you may want to give it a good soak as instructed in the article.)
    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

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Help me get things under control

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Keep shocking and run that pump 24/7.
    You are done shocking when:
    Your lose 1pmm or less of FC overnight;
    your CC is .5 or less;
    your water is clear.
    Thanks for the encouragement. I know that if I could keep the filters running 24/7, it would clear faster, but I can't leave it unattended for more than about an hour before it needs some kind of attention. Unfortunately, there are only so many waking hours in the day that aren't already spoken for. I do have a full-time job, other than babysitting a pool.

    Re. the pressure gauges. Yes, I've been watching them. I've also realized that my system is a bit unique. I can't really give you an accurate clean filter pressure, because it varies depending on which output my multi-valve is on. The multi-valve diverts the output of the pump/filter to six different zones in the pool. It starts in the back and supposidly sweeps the stuff towards the main drain (which I'll call the front). So, my system has different pressures depending on which zone it is currently dumping into. When it is between two zones, the pressure is really low for about 2 seconds (because it is actually feeding two at once). Then the pressure comes back up as it locks onto the zone.
    There is a pressure gauge on the multi-valve. When the filters are really really clean, it reads about 25 psi, and you can really tell which zone is working. You can actually hear it changing zones. When the filters are clogged, I've seen it as low as about 5 psi and you can't tell which zone is working. I think I read somewhere that the cleaning nozzles need about 15 psi to work (a guess from memory).
    When the filter is clean, the gauge on the filter reads between 25-30 psi. When the filter is dirty, it runs about 40 psi (this is when the mult-valve reads 5 psi, and the skimmer is hardly moving any water). That is when I know it is time to clean the filter.
    I've now cleaned the filter 5 times. The last time, I used some pool store filter cleaner stuff that a neighbor loaned me. I think it was the equivalent to the acid bath and dish soap rinse because it burned my hands, and it was really soapy, but it got the filters really clean! Using the skimmer sock has extended the time between filter cleaning to about 4 hours of filter time, but I still have to clean the skimmer sock every hour.
    In-Ground. White Marbelite plaster. 21'-7" x 38' Figure Eightish Custom diving pool with 9' deep end. 24,750 Gallons. Pentair Challenger 2 hp pump, Pentair Clean and Clear Plus CCP420 Cartridge Filter, Paramount PCC-2000 In Floor Cleaning system with Debris Canister. Pool/House was a foreclosure that sat dormant for at least 2 years, and was an actual swamp. Using BBB and POP I made it a sparkling backyard oasis. I have a TF100 kit, and I know how to use it (mostly!). This is my FIRST REAL pool, but thanks to TFP, I know what I'm doing! (mostly!).

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