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Thread: Removing Organic Algae Stains

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    Removing Organic Algae Stains

    Hi,

    I need some advice from the experts here. I have some organic algae pool stains (I assume thats what this is) I am having trouble removing completely. Last year (2016) my pool was a swamp (see dark green pic) and as a result I still have some stains from that time. I have since learned how to balance the water properly and keep it algae free (thanks to this site of course). However, There are still stains I am having trouble removing (see pics)

    My numbers as of this afternoon are

    16,000 gallon pool
    PH=(7.8 - a little elevated I think? due to adding 30 oz of 12.5% liquid chlorine to raise the FC last night)
    FC = 5.5
    CC = 0
    TA = 80
    CH = 250
    CYA = 25 (black dot barely visible at 25)


    In the last 2 weeks or so I kept the pool at shock level for 3-4 days (16-20 FC) which is a higher shock level needed for a CYA of 25 ish.. I had read that keeping the pool at shock level and brushing with pool twice a day (with a steel brush) would remove the stains. While it did a pretty good job (notice the streaks.. as it was solid brown prior to shock level so it did remove a good bit) there are quite a few stains left. I also tried pumice stone and it took a lot off (notice the much blue walls just below the tile in some areas).. However, pumice stone that I found doesn't last long and isn't cheap. I would need too many stones and a lot of elbow grease to clean all the stains...

    So I went to my pool chemical supplier (this Is not Leslies!. Trust me been down that road and never again.....great prices at this place comparatively speaking) to pick up some liquid chlorine and I showed the owner the pics. He seemed to think it was algae that was still alive? I hadn't even considered that as the water has been balanced for quite some time and I have passed the "Overnight FC loss test" quite some time ago.. (i.e I tested back in march and have been maintaining a FC of 5 at this point. I think these are just stains from last year (see green swamp pic) vs living algae? SO.....

    • If I pass the Overnight FC loss test-- there is no living algae correct? These should be just "organic algae stains" I presume left over from last year? Again a lot of the stains were removed by shocking the pool for a few days last week but I seemed to have hit a plateau on removing the remaining stains shown and my rotator cuff is about worn out from brushing so much!



    • I'm Assuming these are just organic stains at this point (I'll do another FC loss test tonight for good measure) to confirm unless you guys think different?



    • The aforementioned pool chemical supplier also mentioned algaecide as a means to remove said stains shown in the attached pics. However, as previously mentioned, he suggested it might be live algae which makes no sense to me. Cant see how it can be alive based on the #'s I have taken and given here?



    • Is there any chance this could be live algae based on the info provided today? If so.. I Guess I just need to go to shock level again until I pass the OFC test which I already have..? seems like a waste of chemicals and $$ in this scenario.



    • Assuming its just organic stains-- which I think it is but I'm a novice here... what do you guys/gals suggest at this point? Would a metal eliminator be something to consider even though I cant see how these are metal stains?


    Any info/advice is greatly appreciated as always..

    Thanks

    James
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Removing Organic Algae Stains

    That is interesting. Before seeing the pics and just reading the narrative, I was thinking just staining. But the pics sure look like a bit more. I can see why your pool guy thought it could be algae. There can be some instances where a person can pass an OLCT and still have indications of algae. Just depends on the amount, type, and stages it's in. That's why we have 3 criteria. Am I wrong in thinking that based on the pics, most of the stubborn discoloration seems to be in the shaded areas?

    Before you go through anymore stones, purchase any stain-removing products, or pop your rotator cuff out of place, I would recommend two things at this point:
    1 - Bump your FC up to 12 and pass a SLAM like normal. Based on what you are saying, that shouldn't take long at all (perhaps just tonight).
    2 - Then bump your FC up to the appropriate mustard algae level. Your pool details are not loaded in your sig, so look at the Poolmath calculator towards the bottom of the chart (Suggested FC Levels) and increase the FC to the correct MA level for 24 hrs. This process is addressed on the TFP Pool School - Mustard Algae page.

    I would be curious to know if you see any improvements in that before trying anything else. Let us know if you see a difference.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: Removing Organic Algae Stains


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    Re: Removing Organic Algae Stains

    Hmm I had not considered mustard algae or even thought of that as I wasn't even considering the possibility of live algae at this point. Attached is a close up of the stains.....for a little more clarity. I will shock to mustard algae level (18.2 for a cya of 30 if I am reading correct?) as you suggest to see if their is any improvement.





    IMG_0210.jpgIMG_0209.jpgIMG_0208.jpgIMG_0207.jpg

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Removing Organic Algae Stains

    shock to mustard algae level (18.2 for a cya of 30 if I am reading correct?)
    That should work. I got an FC of 19 on my computer, but I may have some of your pool characteristics loaded differently. Give that elevated FC level a day or so to see if you notice any changes. If not, we may call-in some plaster experts just to get their take on it.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Removing Organic Algae Stains

    IMG_0281.jpgIMG_0282.jpgIMG_0280.JPG

    Well I followed the recommendations and shocked to mustard algae level as high as 25 starting Thursday (cya is right at 30)---I did a OFC loss test last night ---15.5 at 9 pm and 14.5 FC at 8 am this morning -- I'd assume there is no "living algae" at this point?

    So as you can see from the pics the stains are coming off but I had to use a grill brush (small rectangular steel brush)to remove what is shown in the current pics --and that is scrubbing really hard--not easy very time consuming

    the steel pool brush doesn't work well removing these stains at all--barely makes a dent-could be the angle and shape of brush --

    I've contemplated draining and pressure washing.but that would be 300 to fill it back up--

    Does anyone have a better suggestion at this point? Any chemicals that might assist with removing these stains (can i call them stains at this point ?)

    Oddly enough i looked sat these dirty walls all last summer and did not realize how stained it was since I had gotten the water clear. I suppose I was satisfied with it but prob forgot what a clean clear wall looked like.

    It's Bugging me now --big time

    Any tips/suggestions appreciated as always

    Thnx !



  7. Back To Top    #7
    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Removing Organic Algae Stains

    I guess the only downside to TFP is actually seeing all of our pool defects so clearly in the shell. That water sure looks nice though.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Removing Organic Algae Stains

    I just skimmed this thread.

    Have you tested for iron?

    Have you tested for calcium scale?

    Do you know how to do those tests?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Removing Organic Algae Stains

    No I have not-- something worth looking into at this point I suppose? I ordered a TF test kit last summer so I'd imagine they would have something I could order to test for this?



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    Re: Removing Organic Algae Stains

    I think you have iron stains or perhaps calcium scale.

    Test for iron by crushing several vitamin C tablets into powder. Put them in a sock and then place the sock directly on the stains....weighing it down with something so you get good contact. Leave it there for 5 minutes or more. See if the stain disappears or is lightened significantly.

    Is the stain rough to the touch?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Removing Organic Algae Stains

    I will attempt the vitamin c test today and report back--the stains feel slimy/slippery compared to touching the areas i have scrubbed clean/cleaner



  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Removing Organic Algae Stains

    It's a new summer JMyrick106. Did you find success? My pool recently went green on me while I was out of town and now I am battling the same issues. The weird thing is the connected spa was way worse than the pool and it has no staining what so ever. Weird. I'm just curious if you figured out what was going on.

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