Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: new pool owner - my plan to kill the algae

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Blue Springs, MO
    Posts
    18

    new pool owner - my plan to kill the algae

    I found this forum yesterday while looking for advice on how to clear up my swamp. At first it just made me upset because I realized how much money I've wasted at the pool store the last couple weeks, but after reading through the Pool School and the post about getting rid of algae I feel like I have a plan of attack for this weekend. My wife and I just bought a foreclosure and the inground pool was only partially covered, so it's in pretty bad shape. This is our first pool.

    So far we've scooped about 8 big lawn bags full of leaves out of the pool. Oh yea, we have lots of trees in the yard by the way. The pool store recommended using flock to settle everything and vacuum it all out before adding any chlorine. They said it would be a waste of chlorine because I'd just vacuum it out to waste. Made sense at the time. They also talked me into buying a 20lb tub of dichlor. The flock had no effect at all, and after browsing around here it sounds like it's because my pH is really low.

    To cut off a long story, I ordered a good test kit yesterday from the recommendations here and took a water sample into the pool store to have a full test done in the meantime.
    FC & CC both 0
    TA = -26
    pH = 6.5
    CYA = 79
    Now I know the dichlor is definitely a bad idea. I stocked up on bleach and baking soda last night, and I wanted to run my plan for the day by the pros here. The pool store said I would need 10lbs of baking soda, the pool calculator said 20. I don't have a good test kit yet, so I'll just be guessing on the bleach all day.

    I plan on putting 4lbs of baking soda in this morning and letting it circ for awhile, then adding a 174oz jug of bleach an hour until things start to get better. I'll also add more baking soda throughout the day. I have a cheap test kit so I can watch pH and TC, but no way to measure TA w/o going back to the pool store so I'll probably wait and do that tomorrow and see how it turns out.

    Any suggestions?
    IG pool, 20k gallon, vinyl liner, sand filter

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Casey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    9,929

    Re: new pool owner - my plan to kill the algae

    Get your PH up ASAP! I don't know whether it's a liner pool or not but if it is, low PH can kill the vinyl. You should get some 20 Mule Team Borax in the green box for your local grocer in the laundry isle.

    It's okay to take your water to be tested, just ignore the pressure to buy anything!

    If you're fairly confidant that you've gotten everything out of the pool, you should be ready to turn the pump on and slowly add bleach to the pool. Once you start, don't stop! You want to be consitant at adding bleach in a few doses every day until it can hold reasonably. If it's really swampy, you'll lose the Chlorine very rapidly because the algae consumes it almost on contact.

    Also, go into your profile and add all your pool specs so we know what you have. Please be careful and don't go over 5 lines. You can squease it all in by adding comma's to seperate it and also add your location if you haven't done so yet.

    Read PS again just to make sure it's all up there and pretty soon, your pool will sparkle!

    If you vacation a lot, you can use the dichlor for when you leave if it's in puck form. Lot's of people do it that way. If not, maybe you can return it if it's not open and you don't think you'll use it.

    Welcome. You've come to the right place. Just remember, your pool didn't turn green over night, it's not going to clear over night!

    P.S. I plugged your numbers into the pool calculator and to shock your pool with a CYA of 80, you need approximately 9 gallons of bleach or 12 (96 oz) of bleach to hit 28ppm. Is there a SWG on your pool? If not, maybe you should also consider a tinsy tiny bit of a drain to bring the CYA down to 50 where it'd be a little bit easier to manage the chlorine demand.

    Others will be by to help out soon.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

  3. Back To Top    #3
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,887

    Re: new pool owner - my plan to kill the algae

    Welcome to TFP!

    Where did you get those test results? It is impossible for TA to be negative, and no CYA test can actually be that precise. Many of the systems that give you "exact" numbers like those are actually far less precise than test kits that round to the nearest multiple of 10.

    By far the best thing you can do for your pool is to purchase a top quality test kit. I recommend a kit from TF Test Kits, see the link in my signature. The Taylor K-2006 is also good. Getting a top quality test kit will save you time and money in the long run.

    It sounds like you are already working on raising the TA level. After you do that, as Casey said, it is critical that you get the PH up to at least 7.0. Do that before you start shocking. You can't trust the results of a PH test when the FC level is 10 or higher.
    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
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
    Posts
    11,963

    Re: new pool owner - my plan to kill the algae

    Welcome.

    I would try and return the Dichlor if you can, ask for a store credit. Your CYA is high and the use of the Dichlor would raise it too much.

    I agree with Casey, your PH is dangerously low. The Baking Soda will raise the TA but not have much impact on the PH. You need to use Borax or Soda ash/washing soda to raise the PH, ASAP. (Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda - don't buy the detergent, buy the 'super washing soda' detergent booster. Also in the laundry aisle. You need a combination of products to bring the PH/TA in to range.

    Also lots and lots of chlorine. If the pool store sells liquid chlorine at 10-12% and will exchange it for the Dichlor, then that's the way to go right now.

    See the chart, your CYA is basically 80 so your shock level is about 30. Before adjusting PH and TA and shocking, consider lowering the water level about a foot and replacing with fresh water to bring this CYA level down to a more manageable number.

    If you are okay with that, once that is done, work on the PH/TA. After the refill, recirculate the water and test the PH/TA again, and use the new test results to calculate your dosages of Baking Soda and Soda Ash/Borax.

    While you wait for your good kit, you can pick up a cheap $16 HTH 6 way test kit from Wallyworld. Good practice for you and will give you reasonably accurate results for PH and TA, so that you can proceed with these adjustments.

    Based on the current PH/TA levels, if they are accurate, using the Pool Calc, I would adjust them this way: Add the 20 lbs of baking soda, but also add either 2 boxes of Borax to raise the PH or add 4 lbs of Soda Ash. But get that PH up asap, it's probably sat that way too long already!
    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

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Blue Springs, MO
    Posts
    18

    Re: new pool owner - my plan to kill the algae

    Thanks for the quick replies. I was hoping the baking soda would bring the pH up too, but I'll run and pick up some Borax. I'll drain off some of the water this morning and refill, then work on the pH and TA. Then I'll plan on attacking with chlorine probably tomorrow.
    IG pool, 20k gallon, vinyl liner, sand filter

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Blue Springs, MO
    Posts
    18

    Re: new pool owner - my plan to kill the algae

    The test results are on a print out from the pool store. Maybe the TA is really supposed to be 26? It's definitely a negative in front of it and not just a dash though, so who knows. Definitely low either way.

    When you all say the pH is dangerously low, what does that really mean? Obviously way too low to swim in, but will the low pH cause other damage to the pool, filter, etc?
    IG pool, 20k gallon, vinyl liner, sand filter

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Posts
    8,618

    Re: new pool owner - my plan to kill the algae

    Quote Originally Posted by bhunt99

    When you all say the pH is dangerously low, what does that really mean? Obviously way too low to swim in, but will the low pH cause other damage to the pool, filter, etc?
    It's pool damage you are concerned with, mostly the liner. I don't think it would be dangerous to you, although it would probably be irritating to your eyes.

    Consider yourself lucky. Many people spend big money for years before they catch on to the easy way to care for the pool. Good luck with reclaiming the pool.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Blue Springs, MO
    Posts
    18

    Re: new pool owner - my plan to kill the algae

    How long should it take for the Borax to start impacting the pH level? How often should I be testing while I'm trying to bring the level up?
    IG pool, 20k gallon, vinyl liner, sand filter

  9. Back To Top    #9
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,887

    Re: new pool owner - my plan to kill the algae

    Borax will start affecting the PH right away. But you should give it an hour to fully mix in before testing the PH again.
    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

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Blue Springs, MO
    Posts
    18

    Re: new pool owner - my plan to kill the algae

    I got the pH up yesterday and I've been dumping jug after jug of bleach in it today. I've scrubbed and vacuumed several times in between. I vacuum to waste each time and then add more water, so hopefully the cya is slowly coming down. The water looks WAY better this evening. I can actually see the bottom in the shallow end, which makes vacuuming much easier.

    I'll have to wait a few days on the test kit I ordered, so what's a good guess for how much bleach I should continue adding? The water has cleared up a lot and is mainly cloudy at this point, rather than dark green/brown, but it still has a definite green shade to it. I picked up some test strips at Wally World because they were the only thing I saw that claimed to measure FC instead of TC. The FC chart on the test only goes up to 10, and my test strip comes out much darker purple than a 10 if that helps at all. The CYA is still somewhere between 50 - 100 according to the strip, but the color is much closer to 50 so that's good.
    IG pool, 20k gallon, vinyl liner, sand filter

  11. Back To Top    #11
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
    Posts
    11,963

    Re: new pool owner - my plan to kill the algae

    Without an accurate way to test, it's really just guessing. Strips don't tell you much, they are so inaccurate. They were all out of the 6 way? Hopefully your test kit will arrive sooner rather than later!

    CYA of 50 on a strip could be anything...back in the day when I used strips, they read my CYA at 30-50 when in reality it was over 100.

    You could safely add 1 small jug of bleach each night without risking overdosing on the chlorine, that would only raise your FC level by 2ppm.

    Again, this is totally guessing about what is reasonable without knowing what the actual FC levels are.
    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

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Blue Springs, MO
    Posts
    18

    Re: new pool owner - my plan to kill the algae

    Still waiting on my test kit, so I took a water sample in to the pool store today. The pool is looking a lot better, but still not close to clear. I can see the bottom in the shallow end although it's pretty cloudy, but the deep end is still pretty dark.
    Here's my numbers
    FC 10
    CC 0
    TC 10
    TA 85
    pH 7.3
    CYA 24

    I'm pretty happy with where everything is. I'll add some more bleach tonight to get the FC up to shock level, which should be 12 if I'm using the pool calculator correctly. I'm a little surprised that the CYA level is so low now. I've vacuumed to waste and refilled a few times since last weekend, but never more than a few inches of water at a time.

    My filter is having issues and I'm guessing that's why the water hasn't cleared up more by now. It has a suction side air leak, but that's a whole other issue to work on. I bleed the air out as often as I can, but the circulation is always pretty bad by the time I get home from work everyday.
    IG pool, 20k gallon, vinyl liner, sand filter

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Blue Springs, MO
    Posts
    18

    Re: new pool owner - my plan to kill the algae

    Any reason the pool store's number for the CYA would be way off? I got my test kit last night and tested my first samples this morning.

    FC - 12
    CC - 0
    CYA - 80

    I thought it was odd that the pool store said my CYA had dropped from 74 to 24 in a week when I hadn't drained that much water. Explains why my pool is still somewhat green when the FC has been holding around 12. I'm wondering if maybe I tested wrong, but I'm pretty sure I did it right and the black dot was definitely not visible at all at 80.
    IG pool, 20k gallon, vinyl liner, sand filter

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Casey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    9,929

    Re: new pool owner - my plan to kill the algae

    Go with your test kit results!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

  15. Back To Top    #15
    MikeInTN's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    1,335

    Re: new pool owner - my plan to kill the algae

    Quote Originally Posted by bhunt99
    Any reason the pool store's number for the CYA would be way off? I got my test kit last night and tested my first samples this morning.

    FC - 12
    CC - 0
    CYA - 80

    I thought it was odd that the pool store said my CYA had dropped from 74 to 24 in a week when I hadn't drained that much water. Explains why my pool is still somewhat green when the FC has been holding around 12. I'm wondering if maybe I tested wrong, but I'm pretty sure I did it right and the black dot was definitely not visible at all at 80.
    Two biggest reasons would be inaccurate testing equipment and/or untrained employee. Trust your own testing.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •