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Thread: Black Algae, High CH--drain or not to drain?

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    Black Algae, High CH--drain or not to drain?

    Hello,

    I have a gunite pool with many black algae spots and some mustard algae. My CH is also at 550 causing some calcium scaling (it's not too bad). I tested my fill water, and it is at CH 200. I think my pool could greatly benefit from replacing some water. I am thinking because there is so much black algae in the pool and my CH is high, I could drain the pool, clean scaling and algae (while at it, pressure wash the moldy sidewalks around the pool), and then refill with CH 200 water. Here is my concern: I live in Houston, and am scared to think that my pool could pop when I drain my almost 10,000 gallons of water from the pool and the spa. Has any of you TFP'ers done this procedure in Houston successfully? Also, am I correct to think that getting rid of black algae once and for all would be much easier after I drain the pool? What are some techniques to do that and also remove calcium buildup?

    Thank you,
    Sergei

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Black Algae, High CH--drain or not to drain?

    Welcome to the forum

    You can't get rid of the black algae or mustard algae by draining.

    Normally, the most compelling reason to drain is high CYA......what is yours?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Black Algae, High CH--drain or not to drain?

    Thanks for the reply, duraleigh.

    I did not mean that I would get rid of algae by just draining the pool. I watched videos about chlorine washing the algae and acid washing (is it just for stains?). I don't know what other methods there are to get rid of black algae once the water is down, but I am thinking it would be more thorough cleaning than now (easier possibly?).

    My CYA is super low--at around 25. I even put in a gallon of instant conditioner and nothing changed! It's really strange. But I am more concerned about my CH of 550, and black and mustard algae. I read here that when CH is high it is difficult to keep water chemistry in balance. Also, the water does not look as clear. Is 550 considered high enough to drain and refill?

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Black Algae, High CH--drain or not to drain?

    High CH can be a problem, but it doesn't make the water harder to balance. It's part of rhe overall balance, but CH 550 is nothing to worry about. Its only slightly high, but easy to manage. It makes pH more important to watch along with the TA, but focus on pH first. The pH is always something important to keep an eye on, just a little more so with your CH.

    You dont need to drain, but some time spent in Pool School will help you. Please start there with the ABCs, some other basics, and then SLAM. You will need to elevate the free chlorine up fairly high, and keep it there for a good while. This is a shocking process we call SLAM.

    This requires a certain type of test kit, so can you tell us which one you have?
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

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    Re: Black Algae, High CH--drain or not to drain?

    OK. So from what I read, it should be enough to scrape the heads of black algae with the metal brush and keep FC at mustard algae shock level for a couple of days in order to get rid of black and mustard algae for good. Is that correct? No pressure washing, chlorine washing, or acid washing required for the same results?

    I have K-1515-A for testing my chlorine levels.

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    Re: Black Algae, High CH--drain or not to drain?

    After I scrape off the heads of black algae, how high should my FC level be? Pool Math Calculator shows between 6 and 8 as normal for my 45 CYA. Is that enough, or should FC be higher than 8? If yes, how high?

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    AftonJeeper's Avatar
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    Re: Black Algae, High CH--drain or not to drain?

    If CYA is 45 we round up so consider it 50, shock level from the CYA/FC chart says 16. Check out the slam your pool link in Patrick's signature and read up on algae. You might consider picking up a Taylor K-2006c or TF-100 test kit.
    20'x48' 40,000 gal. Vinyl, Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST, Sta-Rite PLM300 System 2 Cartridge Filter, and a Pentair Mastertemp 250 heater all controlled by Pentair Easy Touch with Screen Logic. Dolphin Premier pool attendant.
    I've got iron stained well water. TF-100 and Speed Stir, Lamotte 3017-G for Borates

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