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Thread: Help me clear up my pool

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    Help me clear up my pool

    Hi--I have been fighting algae for nearly four days and the water is not clearing up. it is not improving at all. I will use your step by step instructions, but I have a question.

    I have an inground fiberglass pool (6000 gallons) with an automatic chlorine feeder. The FC is starting to come up from nearly 0 but I have also added one of those floating chlorine dispensers. PH is rather low so I am working on bringing that up to 7.2. Last test showed it about 6.8. The filter is a cartridge filter (paper/polymer, not carbon). I have only shocked it once so far.

    My question: Can I add household bleach to the pool to help increase the FC? Or should I only use one or the other?

    thank you. This site has been more helpful than all the nit wits at all the pool stores in this area. While they try to be helpful, they keep selling me chemicals which don't work, like the algeacide and they are either guessing and not helping to think through the problems.
    6000 gallon inground fiberglass pool, Pentair cartridge filter, inline New Water Chlorine dispenser and Pinnacle brand motor/pump with a booster pump. Pool is at bottom of hill and pump at the top. It must pull up a 20 degree slope.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Help me clear up my pool

    Yes, you can and should use bleach a.k.a. liquid chlorine.

    I suspect you have very high CYA levels from using the tabs- which will likely require that you drain some water and replace it with fresh to lower the CYA. This should probably be done before you do further adjustments/or shock, otherwise you'll just be wasting chlorine/ph chems.

    Do you know your current CYA level?

    If it is over 70 you will need to drain/refill (partially anway) - best to do any draining before you adjust PH. This must be done sooner rather than later because your PH is way too low and this can damage pool surfaces/equipment. So as soon as we get that figured out you can work on your PH adjustments.

    You are going to need one of the recommended test kits, see the article in pool school that compares the kits we recommend. Note - you are very unlikely to find these kits instores, so better off just ordering online to get it shipped out soon.

    Please add your pool specs and equipment to your signature. Go to User Control Panel, then Profile, then Edit Signature.

    Welcome to TFP!
    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
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    Re: Help me clear up my pool

    Quote Originally Posted by cborn
    ...have been fighting algae for four days, water is not clearing up...the FC is starting to come up from nearly 0 but I have also added one of those floating chlorine dispensers. PH is low so I am working on bringing that up to 7.2. Last test showed it about 6.8. The filter is a cartridge filter...have only shocked it once so far.
    thank you. This site has been more helpful than all the nit wits at all the pool stores in this area. While they try to be helpful, they keep selling me chemicals which don't work, like the algeacide and they are either guessing and not helping to think through the problems.
    First, you need to understand that liquid chlorine (either plain 6% ultra bleach or 10% or 12% from a pool store) is what will kill the algae. Using the "pucks" for clearing the pool won't cut it and is probable making the situation worse . The pucks add CYA (stabilizer or conditioner) to the pool. The higher the CYA the higher your FC (free chlorine) level needs to be to shock the pool which kills the algae. If you've been using this for a long time then your CYA level may be so high that you have to drain some of the water (6-10") and refill; doing this several times.

    You need to know what your FC, CC, PH, TA, and CYA is so that the others on this board can help you. The descriptions are in "Pool School" in frustratedpoolmom's post http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-school/. In addition, you need to have a good test kit, test strips have been found to be unreliable as have pool store measurements: I'd recommend the TF-100 (http://www.tftestkits.net/).

    What pump, filter, etc. do you have?

    This is going to take some time but is pretty easy to do: The RIGHT chemicals (usually bleach), brushing, and POP (pool owners patience) is usually what's required. 8)
    Triad Region of NC
    18x37 Vinyl IG (24,000 gal.), BBB & GoldLine AquaLogic PS4 SWG, Hayward 1 HP Superpump / Hayward Sand Filter / Polaris 280 cleaner / 6 deck jets / Sheer Descent Waterfall (in coping) / Brick Red Concrete Coping / Stamped Concrete Deck
    Lots of oak trees, maple trees, *and* leaves!

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    Re: Help me clear up my pool

    I have two test strips and two liquid type testers. The water is still green but is a tiny bit clearer than last night. These kits are giving me readings all over the place. chlorine from 1, 2 and 5, pH from 6.8, 7.2 to 7.8, alkalinity 180 to 240 and only the test strip shows Stabilizer which I assume is CYA and that is 100-150. Yesterday, the PH was very low so I added the Soda Ash and then it went sky high so I added the PH down and it appears from this to be at least better. I am worried about the CYA. The water is also pretty hard. I am heading to Leslies Pools to get the water tested and baseline this and then to get bleech, etc. I have one piece of documentation that is poorly written from the manufacturer that says DO NOT USE LIQUID CHLORINE in a fiberglass pool. Any one heard of this? The book also advises keeping the CH level at 1 once algae cleaned up. I kept it higher than that last three seasons and never had a problem. The book also contradicts in some cases. Should I get some bleech? I'll update with the numbers from the pool store in a few hours and thank you for your help. this is a great site.
    6000 gallon inground fiberglass pool, Pentair cartridge filter, inline New Water Chlorine dispenser and Pinnacle brand motor/pump with a booster pump. Pool is at bottom of hill and pump at the top. It must pull up a 20 degree slope.

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Help me clear up my pool

    Cborn...welcome to TFP...I don't think bleach will harm your pool. Get those water test results posted up from leslies and we'll help you out from there.

    Also...I know it can be pricey but get yourself a good test kit asap...either the TF100 or Taylor k2006 will serve you well and will save you money in the long term...no unecessry chems and no gas burned going to the store.

    Good luck ...we'll get that water cleared up for you
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Help me clear up my pool

    Ignore the test strips for now. Ignore the book...lots of misleading "advice" from industry experts.

    I have never heard of not using liquid chlorine in fiberlglass, many people do.

    Your FC is determined by your CYA level. See the chart. 1-3 industry standard is meaningless.

    The two liquid type testers? What are they, brand? Where did you buy, and what do they test, and how old are they, where do you store them?

    When dosing to adjust PH, you need to use the Pool Calculator and measure carefully, and always undershoot your target a bit, it's easier to make adjustments that way.

    When you post your test results, list them this way for us:

    FC
    CC
    PH
    TA
    CH
    CYA
    metals, etc.:

    It's important we get a CH reading for you- that is important for a fiberglass pool.

    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

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    Re: Help me clear up my pool

    Back from Leslies:

    FC: 2
    CC:3
    PH:7.4
    TA:190
    CH:120
    CYA:100

    I bought a new test kit from them that measures CYA. Calculator says to replace 60% of water. I really don't want to do that--we are on a well and it will take all day. What are your suggestions for lowering the CYA? What do I need to do first?

    You are great and answer very quickly. thank you.
    6000 gallon inground fiberglass pool, Pentair cartridge filter, inline New Water Chlorine dispenser and Pinnacle brand motor/pump with a booster pump. Pool is at bottom of hill and pump at the top. It must pull up a 20 degree slope.

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    Re: Help me clear up my pool

    OK FPM is better at this then me but I'll give it a shot....Chances are your CYA is higher than 100 as leslies doesn't usually measure higher than 100. Replacing water is the only way you will be able to bring your CYA down.

    In the meantime...assuming your CYA reading is actually 100 (part of the reason you are experiencing difficulty in clearing your water) your need to raise your FC to about 40 ppm and keep it there until you are able to hold FC overnight and the water starts clearing. Follow the shocking your pool sticky in Pool School. You also may want to work on lowering your TA after the pool clears, but this is not urgent, unless you have wild PH swings.

    One note...do not try to test PH while you are shocking as the high chlorine level will through your PH reading off.

    If you decide to reduce your CYA first (you can stretch out the water addition over a few days since you are on a well), your benefit would be less chlorine required to bring you water up to shock level. You can find a link to the pool calculator, pool school and CYA/Chlorine chart in FPM's signature.

    Good luck...hope this helps
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: Help me clear up my pool

    So I have to drain the **** thing? I really don't have any more time than today to deal with this. What if I only take out a small amt of water and then add fresh and superchlorinate? Can I get rid of the algae or will I never win if the CYA is that high? There must be a way another way to neutralize this? I am just so disgusted with this. The pool installer cost me an extra $15000 and for the past two years I have had algae trouble. I wish I never wasted my money which I really don't have now. Thank you.
    6000 gallon inground fiberglass pool, Pentair cartridge filter, inline New Water Chlorine dispenser and Pinnacle brand motor/pump with a booster pump. Pool is at bottom of hill and pump at the top. It must pull up a 20 degree slope.

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Help me clear up my pool

    You do not have to drain, but you will need a lot more chlorine. Sorry about the time crunch you are under but we are trying to assist. Two things...I just checked the poolcalculator...it says to add 5 gals of 6% bleach today to get your FC up to 40...since you won;t be able to test that high, continue adding a half gallon each day after the initial 5 and try to test each day at leslies...I'm guessing at what your chorine burn off will be after the 5 gals, but it's the best I can do. Otherwise, please wait for FPM, Jason or Waterbear to reply, as I am certainly not the expert. Please double check my estimate for yourself on the poolcalculator and decide if you want to invest the time needed to clear.

    Again sorry, I cant offer more speedy advice.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    Re: Help me clear up my pool

    I really do appreciate all of your help and don't mean to aim my anger at this forum. The pool company who installed should have been sued and this has cost me thousands of dollars and days and days of annual leave. Found another site that says the chlorine can add the Cyanuric acid over time so after a few years you may need to just replace the water. I think its about $300 to have a company fill it. I'm looking into that also.
    6000 gallon inground fiberglass pool, Pentair cartridge filter, inline New Water Chlorine dispenser and Pinnacle brand motor/pump with a booster pump. Pool is at bottom of hill and pump at the top. It must pull up a 20 degree slope.

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    Re: Help me clear up my pool

    Quote Originally Posted by cborn
    So I have to drain the **** thing? I really don't have any more time than today to deal with this. What if I only take out a small amt of water and then add fresh and superchlorinate? Can I get rid of the algae or will I never win if the CYA is that high? There must be a way another way to neutralize this? I am just so disgusted with this. The pool installer cost me an extra $15000 and for the past two years I have had algae trouble. I wish I never wasted my money which I really don't have now. Thank you.
    Cborn, once you get a grasp on pool care you will find it is very easy, and makes enjoying your pool so much more. I can appreciate your frustration because after my pool company fired me i had to drain 40% of my pool 2x's in order to get my cya to a more manageable level. Unfortunately there is no other reasonable way to lower it. When your cya levels become really high it is just too difficult to maintain proper chlorine levels and when its super high, chlorine just quits working. You can do several partial drains over several days if you need to. But you need to get it lower.

    I promise once you grasp the concepts talked about on this board, you will control your pool and it will not control you.

    Good luck.
    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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    Re: Help me clear up my pool

    Quote Originally Posted by cborn
    So I have to drain the **** thing? I really don't have any more time than today to deal with this. What if I only take out a small amt of water and then add fresh and superchlorinate? Can I get rid of the algae or will I never win if the CYA is that high? There must be a way another way to neutralize this? I am just so disgusted with this. The pool installer cost me an extra $15000 and for the past two years I have had algae trouble. I wish I never wasted my money which I really don't have now. Thank you.
    I would suggest draining but a little at a time, as the water tables are high after all of the rain in the east. Don't want you to pop out of the ground. Your answer is to drain, refill, drain, refill and then test your CYA. That needs to get down to 40/50ppm. Once you have that under control, use liquid bleach and you can mix it with water to dilute it if you'd like. Its interesting that you have something that says not to use liquid chlorine, b/c that is what your pool is, just a let less per volume
    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~~

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    Re: Help me clear up my pool

    Quote Originally Posted by cborn
    Found another site that says the chlorine can add the Cyanuric acid over time so after a few years you may need to just replace the water. I think its about $300 to have a company fill it. I'm looking into that also.
    Only using stabilized chlorine pucks will raise your cya, not liquid chlorine.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Help me clear up my pool

    Sorry to hear the results - they are not good.

    I would drain a bit at a time, say 6 inches or so, refill, recirculate, repeat 3 or 4 times over the next few days. I wouldn't pour any bleach in now, you'll likely never reach the level you need to and you'll just be wasting bleach, energy and money. Plus, you'll end up having to adjust your TA and CH levels which are off too, better to complete the lowering CYA process first.

    I would have the CYA retested after 4 cycles of draining.

    CYA is found in Dichlor powder shock bags, trichlor pucks/tablets and also sold seperately labeled "stabilizer" or even "conditioner". If you get your CYA lowered down to 60 or so that will be fine and then just use liquid chlorine or bleach, this will not add CYA.

    Hope this helps, keep us posted. AGain, sorry for your bad news.
    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 clear up my pool

    I will be able to get about 50% of the water out by evening. I will start refilling over the next two days but is impossible to refill, drain, refill over three or four days- I have to go to work and don't have the money for a more powerful pump. I was wondering if I can put bleach in it without the filter/pump running? Once the water level is below the skimmer, about 3 or 4 inches, I have to turn the filter/pump off. Can the bleach do any harm if it is not being recirculated? If this doesn't work, I will have to have it drained and refilled by a local company--if I can find one to do it. I have not had much luck so far. thanks.
    6000 gallon inground fiberglass pool, Pentair cartridge filter, inline New Water Chlorine dispenser and Pinnacle brand motor/pump with a booster pump. Pool is at bottom of hill and pump at the top. It must pull up a 20 degree slope.

  17. Back To Top    #17
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    Re: Help me clear up my pool

    Bleach can pool on the bottom of the pool and create problems if the pump isn't running.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Help me clear up my pool

    that is what I thought. thanks
    6000 gallon inground fiberglass pool, Pentair cartridge filter, inline New Water Chlorine dispenser and Pinnacle brand motor/pump with a booster pump. Pool is at bottom of hill and pump at the top. It must pull up a 20 degree slope.

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    Re: Help me clear up my pool

    Quote Originally Posted by cborn
    I will be able to get about 50% of the water out by evening. I will start refilling over the next two days but is impossible to refill, drain, refill over three or four days- I have to go to work and don't have the money for a more powerful pump. I was wondering if I can put bleach in it without the filter/pump running? Once the water level is below the skimmer, about 3 or 4 inches, I have to turn the filter/pump off. Can the bleach do any harm if it is not being recirculated? If this doesn't work, I will have to have it drained and refilled by a local company--if I can find one to do it. I have not had much luck so far. thanks.

    With 6k gallons, you should be able to drain/refill 50% of it in under 24 hours with a regular garden hose.
    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~~

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