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Thread: Wedding cake steps and algae

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    Wedding cake steps and algae

    Thanks to the fine folks here at TFP, I have kept a close eye on my steps and sure enough I think there is some algae behind one of the sets. I have three sets of wedding cake steps in the pool, all about 3 inches from the wall. I did the ping pong ball test to watch my water flow on the surface and it really seems to weaken by the time it gets to the third set (the furthest from the one return). It seems that the flow must be weak underneath the surface as well. I've been pouring my chlorine in the area where the algae spot is located and thanks to another tip I am going to get one of those whale brushes to hopefully help push the chlorine behind the steps after I pour it in. My problem is that can't get to the algae spot to brush it because it is behind the step and my brush won't fit behind there at the correct angle to brush the algae away unless I get in the pool. We have had thunderstorms on and off and my water temperature is too cold for me to brave getting in. Is the algae going to just sit there and get worse until it gets brushed? I brought my pool up to shock level this morning but then it dropped 5 ppm by this afternoon so that can't be good. Maybe there is a lot more algae that is hidden by the steps? My chlorine numbers this morning then this afternoon:
    FC 16 11
    CC 0 0
    TC 16 11
    My CYA is about 30 now. We've just had so much rain. I've bought some of the liquid pool conditioner to add to my water. I'm just trying to mix in the elmer's glue that is stuck in the bottom first! Thanks in advance for your advice!
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding cake steps and algae

    It is normal for the FC level to fall fairly quickly during the day when your CYA level is only 30.

    If ignored the algae will get worse, but probably only slowly. The higher chlorine levels you had today will help, but probably won't kill it all without brushing.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding cake steps and algae

    You can get into the gap between the steps and the pool wall with a toilet brush. Either buy a new one or use the one from the bathroom after dipping it in a bucket with bleach water. Pool stores also sell brushes shaped just like a toilet brush that fit on the end of the pole. Any brush you might have in your cleaning closet will work to get behind the steps, just make sure it doesn't have any sharp edges.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Re: Wedding cake steps and algae

    Also make sure that when you add any water to put your garden hose through one of the holes to force some circulation through them.

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    Re: Wedding cake steps and algae

    Very nice. Thanks for the replies!

    I will add the CYA today to help keep the chlorine level up.

    I will also look for that toilet brush thingy. I have the room behind the steps, just not the right brush. Thanks!

    I was so excited to get the tip on the water hose. What a great idea! Then I remembered that I have been doing the opposite for days...draining because of the rain. If I do have to fill 'er up I'll remember that though.

    The weather is supposed to clear up by Saturday so hopefully I can get in the pool and scrub under the steps too. Thanks again!
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

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    Re: Wedding cake steps and algae

    Quote Originally Posted by numberonenole
    ...I will also look for that toilet brush thingy. I have the room behind the steps, just not the right brush. Thanks!
    In addition, the big box stores are selling a brush in the HVAC ducting isle that looks similar to the bottle brushes we used to use for the kids/babies (a long time ago ), BUT the brushes are 14-24" long and they are designed to clean out dryer vent hoses so they have a long handle... YMMV...

    Just a thought... 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
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    dattia's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding cake steps and algae

    I also notice that is the first place that I tend to have problems... I don't use pucks anymore, but am considering hanging one in the cavity under the steps this year. Good idea or waste of chemicals?
    27' round AG
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    Hayward S210T Sand Filter

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    Cherie's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding cake steps and algae

    We have the opportunity right now to buy some used wedding cake steps for a really good price, but are hesitant to do so because of the algae issue. Would hanging a small piece of puck inside them prevent any algae problems?

    Thanks.
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    32x16 buried Doughboy, 4' shallow - 7' deep
    Pentair Dynamo 1 hp, 2-speed - Pentair 150# SD40 w/zeolite (75#)
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding cake steps and algae

    The problem with pucks is they lower PH and raise CYA. So assuming one were to monitor these levels and make proper adjustments, not an issue, right? The problem here is the localized water can become concentrated with acid from the puck, especially when the pump is off and there is no water flow. The low ph in the steps can potentially cause the step material to become brittle and break.

    I'm not sure if one puck would be enough to cause this damage, but it's the reason we say no to pucks in skimmers...

    I think routine brushing, being alert for spots, is a better choice.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding cake steps and algae

    Nice steps!

    I would drill 2" holes all around the bottom at maybe 10" intervals. That will help to circulate the water when you're brushing the pool: Just push some water in direction of the steps.

    If you do get algae they'll likely be under the bottom step where it sits on the pool floor. Since you're a conscientious pool owner and brush every now and then any algae creeping out from under that step will be managed without causing you any grief.

    I don't see a problem with suspending a puck under the steps. Were you thinking of putting it in a sock? I use pucks in a chlorinator and they're very very slow to dissolve at the setting I use. Given the minimal circulation under steps that puck would probably last a whole season. Whether it wil do any good I don't know.

    When you add fill water, put your hose behind the steps to help move the water there. You can also pick them up at the bottom once it's warm enough to get in the water, and use a bottle brush to clean that area.

    In truth, I just don't sweat algae under the steps. It's been such a minor issue in the overall scheme of things that I really don't even give it a thought during the season. I'd get those steps and then enjoy the summer!
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Cherie's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding cake steps and algae

    Sorry for threadjacking here, but I just wanted to comment one more time. We just got back from buying the steps. Someone already had the foresight to drill holes, round and oblong, in strategic places. So we're going to give it a shot and hope for the best. I think we'll go ahead and place 1/4 puck or less in a sock and suspend it inside. I think if the piece is small enough, it won't generate too much chlorine or cya to do any damage (I hope). Anyway, that's our plan and we're sure looking forward to having them now!

    Thanks.
    32x16 buried Doughboy, 4' shallow - 7' deep
    Pentair Dynamo 1 hp, 2-speed - Pentair 150# SD40 w/zeolite (75#)
    One skimmer/two returns/Aquabot Turbo T2

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