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Thread: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

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    Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    Pool: 10,500 gallon above ground

    Equipment: Hayward 1 hp pump & Hayward S166t sand filter (100# capacity)


    To begin, I removed the cover from my pool exactly 2 weeks ago, and found it to be full of green algae. I will detail below exactly everything that has been done to the pool, and the outcome.


    2 weeks ago:

    Dark Green Cloudy water

    Started Pump & Filter

    Shocked with 4 - 1# bags of powdered Aqua Chem brand shock

    Foam and bubbles started forming on the surface, but subsided after a few days.

    10 days ago:

    Milky green water

    Brought all chemicals up to the correct levels.

    Vacuumed, and brushed all debris from pool

    Pump still running

    7 days ago

    Milky gray water

    Tested levels and brought free chlorine back up to correct level.

    5 days ago

    Changed sand in filter

    Drained pool to 1/2 mark per pool sales associates instructions

    Brought water level back up, and corrected chem levels

    Added 2 gal. of liquid bleach at 6% instead of powder shock

    3 days ago

    Brushed and vaccumed pool again. More algae !

    Water still milky white

    Yesterday

    Added 1 gal. bleach and tested FC levels. Levels were good.

    Water started turning a slight milky green color again.

    Chem levels ok.

    Today

    Brushed and vacuumed pool again!

    Light Milky Green colored water with 6" visibility.



    Now, my pump has been running this entire time with the exception of the hour it took me to change the sand media.

    I backwash and rinse every time the pressure gauge goes 7 above 'clean' pressure.

    My water is still a murky, milky green color with very little visibility.


    What am I doing wrong?

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    We really need to see a full set of water test results before we can help you!

    Without test results you are just guessing. Phrases like "Brought all chemicals up to the correct levels." and "Levels were good." don't help. They can mean many different things to different people.
    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: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    I agree with Jason, without test results, we are just guessing. We may have our suspicions....but need more evidence.

    So off to Pool School, read everything there, and then post a full set of results.

    What "correct levels" are you referring to?

    You really need to consider the purchase of one of the recommended test kits - so that you are not relying on the advice of the "sales associate" whose job it is to sell you expensive pool store chemicals.
    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: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    Well, fools rush in.... from your post it looks like you're only checking things every 2-3 days, if you're really fighting off algae you need to keep at it much more frequently--otherwise the algae has a chance to recover and start growing again.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    OK. Sorry I was vague in the chem descriptions.

    Hardness: 250 ppm

    TC: 1 ppm

    FC: 1 ppm

    ph: 7.5

    TA: 120 ppm

    CYA: 50 ppm

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    Thanks! How are you achieving these test results? BTW, your PH/TA are fine, if they are accurate. Are these strips? Pool Store, or drop test?

    See the CYA chart in my sig- look at your CYA level 50 - and the corresponding FC levels, your minimum, your target and your shock. Therein lies your problem, if you are letting the FC drop to 1.

    To kill algae, you must raise your FC with bleach to shock level, and hold it there, to kill the algae. This can mean adding bleach every hour, in some cases, to maintain shock level. Once the FC holds overnight, the algae is dead, and the filter will clear it.

    Read How to Shock your Pool in Pool School.
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    What have you been using for routine day to day chlorine additions? Do you have a tablet chlorinator?
    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

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Thanks! How are you achieving these test results? BTW, your PH/TA are fine, if they are accurate. Are these strips? Pool Store, or drop test?

    See the CYA chart in my sig- look at your CYA level 50 - and the corresponding FC levels, your minimum, your target and your shock. Therein lies your problem, if you are letting the FC drop to 1.

    To kill algae, you must raise your FC with bleach to shock level, and hold it there, to kill the algae. This can mean adding bleach every hour, in some cases, to maintain shock level. Once the FC holds overnight, the algae is dead, and the filter will clear it.

    Read How to Shock your Pool in Pool School.

    I am using test strips to achieve my home results, and I take my water to the pool store daily. They generally run right at the same numbers.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    What have you been using for routine day to day chlorine additions? Do you have a tablet chlorinator?

    I have a chlorine tablet floater that stays in the pool all the time. I also check the chlorine levels early morning (7 a.m.) and early evening (6 p.m.)

    When I need a little more chlorine I usually add bleach per the "Bleach Calculator" suggestions to bring it up to 1 ppm.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by riverwalker76
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    What have you been using for routine day to day chlorine additions? Do you have a tablet chlorinator?

    I have a chlorine tablet floater that stays in the pool all the time. I also check the chlorine levels early morning (7 a.m.) and early evening (6 p.m.)

    When I need a little more chlorine I usually add bleach per the "Bleach Calculator" suggestions to bring it up to 1 ppm.
    Unfortunately for us poor pool owners, pool stores and industry recommendations of 1-3 ppm of FC, which have been routinely spread around as proper, has reached mythic proportions. What your proper level of FC should be, is directly connected to the CYA level. So check out that chart! Anything less and you'll ensure algae will take hold...
    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

    Re: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    Thanks for the advice.

    I'll bring my FC up and let you all know how it's going in 2 or 3 days.

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    MJCP's Avatar
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    Re: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    While I am the least knowledgeable person to be giving an opinion here, your post sounded familiar enough to a problem I had, to offer my experience.

    I fought Cloudy water like mad 2 years ago. (Before I found this site)
    I found that granular shock treatments never seemed to dissolve totally and even when my water started clearing, shocking it made it seem worse. - My Solution - I only add Cheap bargain store Bleach to Shock my pool - Per the POOL SCHOOL.

    Secondly (and Also per the POOL SCHOOL) POP or Pool Owner Patience!!!
    After doing everything everyone else suggested, and making sure your numbers are in the right ranges
    WALK AWAY! Once the numbers are correct you need to quit "stirring the pot" In my case I went away for three days (left the filter off) when I got back everything had settled to the bottom and the water was clear.
    15x32 Lazy L Inground / Concrete - 25,000 US Gal 1979 build
    1.5Hp/ Sand Filter, 7th season with Pool
    Painted cement finish repainted 2011
    BROMINE - (Purchased Home that way) Bleach shock
    400,000 btu Pentair Master Temp NG

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    Your chlorine should never go below 4ppm. Once it does, you're just asking for an outbreak of algae. Sadly, that's what you are seeing. I hope you read Pool School. It's really, your pool's only hope besides a TF100 test kit. Please do get a good test kit. You'll never be able to read shock levels with the strips and Pool Stores can be very inaccurate because they want to sell! Sell! SELL! you everything under the sun to clear your green pool and knock your CYA for a loop when all you need is bleach and lots of it!

    Your pool didn't turn green over night. It's not going to clear over night! POP! My neighbor friend is having the same problem. Her pool looks like chalky milk because she won't keep the chlorine up. I just want to shake her because she won't listen. She wants to drain her pool and start all over. I just shake my head and tell her she just needs bleach but she knows it all and is very frustrated. I will tell you this though, shhhhhh... it will be green in a few weeks because she doesn't keep chlorine in it on a constant basis!

    You wanna know what I do to keep my pool clear? I put bleach in it and keep it from dipping below 4ppm! I feed it every other day right now because the weather isn't so hot but come warmer summer weather and more kids than you could shake a stick at, she wants fed every day. 5 minutes a day. That's all it takes. My pool water is going on 3 years old and it's NEVER turned green!

    I wish you and your pool well. It can be frustrating if your not willing to take the time to teach yourself the ABC's of BBB. It's really easy, you will see.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Guest

    Re: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    Strips do not have the prescision needed to balance water and remember that the pool store wants to sell you as many chemicals as they can. That is their business! ( I know because I have worked in pool stores.)

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    Re: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by riverwalker76
    I have a chlorine tablet floater that stays in the pool all the time. I also check the chlorine levels early morning (7 a.m.) and early evening (6 p.m.)
    The tablets are probably trichlor, which will keep adding CYA as well as chlorine to your water. You have CYA at 50 already, probably time to stop using the tabs. It means you'll be putting in a lot more bleach probably daily, but it will save you trouble down the road.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Nod's Avatar
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    Re: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    Welcome to TFP!

    Others have given great advice. I just want to also refer you to the TF-100 Test kit offered. This kit is a must have for any pool owner. In the meantime keep pouring the bleach in and run the pump 24/7. Your chlorine is way too low especially for an algae outbreak. YOu should be at 15 ppm and keep it there. Run the pump and keep the filter clean. It will eventually come out. You will need to brush the walls and vacuum. If you aren't prepared to take a couple of days to do this, then just keep some bleach in it and hold the algae at bay until you get a free weekend and then tackle it.

    Any get the kit - you are fighting blind without it!
    Nod
    16x32 IG, polymer panel Vinyl Pool w/approx 21k gallons of H20
    1 HP Hayward Pump & 300lb Sand Filter ~ Polaris 280 Pool cleaner
    ~~Nashville, NC~~

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    OK. My algae problem is officially solved, although one other problem has reared it's head!



    My chemicals are all right at the same level where I tested earlier in this post, and my filter has been running constantly.

    On Saturday I started running my sand filter with the DE addition per the "Pool School" advice, but my water is still a milky white color.

    The clarity of the water has increased 30% since my last posting, but it is far from being clear altogether.
    So, I took a sample to the pool store, and my phosphates read at 2500! Since the test only went to 2500, and they thought this was high,they did another dilution test, and found the actual number to be at 4800ppb!

    They tried to sell me a bunch of Phosfree phosphate remover, but I wanted to check with everyone here first.

    Should I shell out for the Phosfree chemical to clear my water?

  18. Back To Top    #18
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    Ignore the phosphate level. My pool has phosphates over 4,000 and I have never had a problem. Phosphate remover is mostly a way for pool stores to make a lot of money.

    It may take another couple of days for the water to clear up completely. Keep an eye on the filter pressure, especially on the DE filter.
    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

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    SO, should I keep a FC level of 5 in my pool until the water clears up?

    Will Shocking the pool clear my water?

  20. Back To Top    #20
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool water problem. I've tried everything!

    The appropriate FC level depends on why you said "My algae problem is officially solved". You want to maintain FC at shock level until the FC level holds overnight with a FAS-DPD test and CC is zero, or until the water is clear and CC is zero if you don't have a FAS-DPD test kit.
    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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