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Thread: Algae, Fungi, or have Alien ****-spawn invaded my pool???

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    Join Date
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    Algae, Fungi, or have Alien ****-spawn invaded my pool???

    Hi all, need some help.....

    I've been dealing quite well with this pool (came with the house) since '03. Current readings are all within proper limits and all was well until about 3 weeks ago. Stains have developed on the bottom of my pool and they appear to have a cause that is coming from underneath the liner. They are random in pattern, are grayish tending towards black, started on the slope to the deep end and are slowly spreading. There is nothing to scrape or rub off, i.e. not scale or some tough algae; it seems to be dicoloring the vinyl although it has not degraded it. I called an old friend who has been in the pool biz for about 20 years and he told me that he had heard of it happening and knew of someone who had solved the problem chemically but hasn't been able to find out what that specific solution was. Other cases he knew of had more serious outcomes including opinions that the soil beneath the pool was "bad" and was causing a fungus that could come through the vermiculite beneath the vinyl liner. This resulted in a couple of solutions that were pretty wild solutions including pulling the liner and soaking the vermiculite with bleach or worse, replacing 2-3 feet of soil and then redoing the bottom of the pool neither of which guarantees success and will cost major bucks. I am hoping someone has run across this and has a more economical (and less traumatic) solution......Thanks for any ideas, Rob
    16' x 35' 23,500 gal Grecian in-ground w/vinyl over vermiculite, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward pump & Polaris pump. Built in 88, overhauled (plumbing, liner, etc,) in 2005

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    First of all, welcome to TFP!

    To help you properly, we need more information, especially your latest numbers, and what kind of test you are using (strips, drops, pool store). Also what method of sanitation are you using? (bleach, tri-cholr pucks, baquacil, Nature2, etc)

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    Thanks for the prelim, will put up current readings tomorrow but I use strips in between pool shop readings to check chems. For sanitation, tri-clor pucks in a chlorinator with periodic shocking based on use levels....Rob
    16' x 35' 23,500 gal Grecian in-ground w/vinyl over vermiculite, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward pump & Polaris pump. Built in 88, overhauled (plumbing, liner, etc,) in 2005

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Certainly sounds like mold under the liner. No easy fix.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Mold, fungus, or algae growing under the liner can be quite unsightly but are unlikely to cause any real problems. Some kinds of plants can grow right through the liner but those ones won't. All of the solutions require access under the liner, which is likely to be a real pain.
    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

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Yep, mold under the liner, or my good friend-black algea. He's here to stay and I've learned to accept him. The only thing that helps is shock level of chlorine, the stain disappears, only to come back when the level drops. Oh well, not going to pay to replace the liner at this time. I've learned to accept it and enjoy my pool. Hopefully my friends won't judge me...
    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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    Ok, current numbers that I have look like this:

    FC 30ppm
    TC 30ppm
    ALK 120
    PH 7.3
    Hardness 225

    .....and yes, that is according to strips but I promise to get a grown-up test kit for better accuracy and more complete statistics. However, I had nice clear trouble free water for almost 4 years before developing this problem and only used strips backed up by pool store analysis. Could some long term deficiency be causing this problem????
    16' x 35' 23,500 gal Grecian in-ground w/vinyl over vermiculite, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward pump & Polaris pump. Built in 88, overhauled (plumbing, liner, etc,) in 2005

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Could some long term deficiency be causing this problem????
    How have you been chlorinating your pool? Pucks? If so, your CYA could be thru the roof rendering your chlorine ineffective......it's a gradual process.

    Black algae, while possible, is not a frequent visitor to vinyl pools and could be at least partially removed with a deck brush.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Guest
    certainly sounds like liner mold to me. Caused by damp ground under the liner and the cure IS to remove the liner and sterilzie the soil underneath, uaually with chorine and lay new sand or vermiculite (and of course a new liner!)
    Or, you could just live with it until you need to replace the liner and then take care of the problem.

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