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Thread: Need some opinions. Clean pool or start over.

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Need some opinions. Clean pool or start over.

    Test Results: (pretty consistent via 3 different pool stores)

    FC: 0
    TC: 0
    PH: 7.5
    TA: 80
    Calcium: 190
    CYA: 0-10ppm (I got 2 different results)
    TDS: 1000
    Cop/Iro: 0
    Phosph: 500

    I know the numbers are kind of off but thats a headache in itself, but I'm clear now thanks to this site.

    I have been going through (that hot/fire place) and back with this pool. I've invested 1000$ into grids, manifold, multi-port, impeller, diffuser, a tech, and WAY too many chemicals, and very little results. Originally I was getting massive amounts of DE back into the pool, I didnt have all that money up front so the pool sat for 3 months. End result was thick green swamp with tadpoles.

    After fixing the pump/filter I got it so it doesnt send DE back in and it works good. The "chain" store sold me a bunch of yellow treat, some all-in-one 3 month algae killer, shock, tabs, and a long list of "add this" "add that" junk. Within the past 2 weeks I've gone from the green soup to cloudy blue with a tinge of green and green stains on all walls and big blotches on the floor. I can see the shallow end floor through the cloud, and I can see about 3-4 feet down in the deep end, and all the walls. When I backwash, it's thick/milky looking with a light tinge of green.

    I realize, after reading this site, the next step is to bring up the CYA and then begin the course of "Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparking Oasis" (the shocking, testing, backwashing, etc.)... Which on a side note, NONE of the 3 pools stores I went to told me "the reason you're losing suction after 30 mins of filtering and needing to backwash is the result of a heavily dirty pool"... All of them wanted me to pay them to come out to "diagnose" my pool problem. This site, and that article, confirmed my suspicion that it was just heavily dirty.

    Anyways, I am at a crossroad and I need some opinions. Right now I am torn between draining and acid washing and starting from scratch, or going the route of "Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparking Oasis", chemically. Normally that would be an obvious decision, however, right now all the walls of my pool and two huge blotches on the floor are stained GREEN (algae I assume), at least I believe they are stained. I've tried brushing, scrubbing, and vacuuming and nothing is working. Will those stains go away when I get the water clean? Is there a special chemical or cleaner for those stains or should I start from scratch? I would hate to drop all that time and money into cleaning the pool only to have the stains remain (they're pretty ugly).

    Also, I just discovered through this site about using bleach (I'm still a little confused, but at least my mind is open). Would that be a cheaper/better/similar way to shock the pool during the cleaning phase? Right now I'm using powdered shock (don't know if that info is needed). But I've read the BBB for Beginners post and I'm 99% sure that I want to go that route (going to start pricing bleach, and comparing tomorrow).

    I will also attach a pic of the green walls tomorrow (during the sunlight).


    Thanks!!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Pool Info:
    13,500 gallons
    DE Filter (Hayward)
    Inground
    Plaster finish?
    I have a 1hp pump, 36" grids in the DE, thats all I know.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Need some opinions. Clean pool or start over.

    I will withhold opinion on the acid wash, but being in orlando you should get liquid chlorine and use tht to shock. you can get some powdered chlorine (dichlor) to raise your cya level pretty quickly if you want, but be careful not to overshoot and then switch back to liquid chlorine.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need some opinions. Clean pool or start over.

    Welcome to TFP.

    I'd try the shock route, brushing the stains while you do. Most if not all organic staining slowly fades once proper FC levels are achieved. It would still be cheaper and easier to try this route than tackling an acid wash.

    Will wait till I see the pics... did you order a good kit yet?
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Need some opinions. Clean pool or start over.

    The Phosphates maybe causing the algae problem which in turns is causing the other problems. So you might want to get ride of the phosphates just to be sure while treating for the algae. This will not be easy to do and it may be easier to just replace the water. However, if you have a high water table and the pool is at any risk of floating, you may have to replace the water in stages. If this is not a problem, then I would say replacing the water is easier than throwing chemicals at it.

    [EDIT] Edited the above to be less definitive
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need some opinions. Clean pool or start over.

    Phosphates are algae food, but if you maintain proper FC levels they are irrelevant. JasonLion's phosphates are over 1000, and he doesn't get algae....
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need some opinions. Clean pool or start over.

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Phosphates are algae food, but if you maintain proper FC levels they are irrelevant. JasonLion's phosphates are over 1000, and he doesn't get algae....
    Edit: Here's Jason's comment yesterday on another thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Phosphate is almost never an issue. My phosphate level is around 4,000 and my water is crystal clear and requires almost no effort and just the typical amounts of chlorine to maintain. We have high phosphate levels in our tap water, so there is really no avoiding it.

    Pool stores are happy to mislead people about phosphates, when really their problems are because of something else (usually high CYA levels). Phosphate remover is expensive, can cause problems, and really only helps if you are not maintaining the FC level properly. It is much simpler and less expensive to just maintain the correct FC level.
    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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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Need some opinions. Clean pool or start over.

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Phosphates are algae food, but if you maintain proper FC levels they are irrelevant. JasonLion's phosphates are over 1000, and he doesn't get algae....
    I agree that in a properly maintained pool, phosphates probably don't matter much. However, it makes fighting an algae bloom that much harder to do and will probably require more chlorine to do it. Phosphates are recognized algae food which will encourage more growth while you are trying to kill it.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner

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    Re: Need some opinions. Clean pool or start over.

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    The Phosphates are causing the algae problem which in turns is causing the other problems. So you need to get ride of the phosphates while treating for the algae. This will not be easy to do and it may be easier to just replace the water. However, if you have a high water table and the pool is at any risk of floating, you may have to replace the water in stages. If this is not a problem, then I would say replacing the water is easier than throwing chemicals at it.
    *gasp* mas, I can't believe this!!
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Need some opinions. Clean pool or start over.

    Perhaps I shouldn't have been so definitive.

    Here is a pretty good article on phosphates where they make this statement:

    Phosphate and algae growth
    Phosphorous is, in fact, highly significant in the metabolic processes of many different types of plant life. It plays an important role in photosynthesis and respiration. However, the optimum phosphorous requirement varies widely among different types of plants.
    Because there are more than 7,000 species of green algae, it is difficult to predict the minimum phosphorous level required for a specific type of algae that may exist in a pool. Some algae can thrive at extremely low levels of orthophosphate.
    The point is that some algae thrives on phosphates so it can be a problem. They also agree that phosphates are not usually a problem in a properly maintained pool. But given vcand's situation and all of the problems involved, it would seem to me to be easier and probably less costly to just replace the water but it depends on the cost of the water vs the cost of the bleach.

    I will just shut up now so as not to cause any more controversy.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner

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    Re: Need some opinions. Clean pool or start over.

    Reebok: I've been using the powdered (dichlor), and running 6 hockey pucks in the skimmer, but after 2 weeks I went from 0 to (at most) 10ppm, I think it's going to take the rest of the summer to get up to level. I thought about liquid chlorine, but at 7$ each to buy the bottles, then actually buying the chlorine, seems to be excessive. What about the BBB method, would that be a suitable substitute?

    Frustratedpoolmom: Thanks! I read on here about using the pucks and rubbing them on the wall to remove stains, well, I tried a couple spots last night and it worked; it's completely white where I rubbed them. So I have confidence now that shocking and levels will finally take care of it. I didnt order the test kit yet (70$ is kind of out of range right now), but I saw a mention on here to using Walmart's 6-in-1 as a substitute for now. I will check to make sure it test FC, if not I'll hit up a pool store and buy an FC tester for now, but a good kit is on my eventual list.

    mas985: yeah, they say not to leave you're pool empty too long because it will float down here, but then theres lucky ones like my neighbor who's had his pool empty for at least a couple years.... I appreciate the opinion, but I think I will try the shock route.

    poolmom: I agree. Both chain stores told me it was too high, then sold me a magic potion, which did nothing. This new pool store I started going to (owned/operated, not a chain) told me the same thing as you, but he basically said it like this: "pools have been around a lot longer than phosphate removers".

    mas985: lol, controversy.


    UPDATE: Ok, thanks to this site, and all of your opinions, I think I am going to avoid draining. It will be an effort and a half to do this. I am fully confident in the BBB method, and that once I get the levels in range all will be well. I rubbed a hockey puck on the walls and the algae vanished. I think my plan will be this; I'm going to rub down the pool with the hockey pucks to kind of pre-remove the algae stains, then disolve/add a pale of stabalizer. From there, starting tonight, I am going to begin a rigerous bleaching of the pool (see the question to follow), and with my pump now actually cleaning the water (rather than fighting the buildup of DE, sand, and dead algae) I think I'm on the home stretch.

    My question, in regards to BBB, is from what I can tell, I need my FC to be at 3-7 (we'll say 4 as a target), and 15 to shock, according to the calculator, with a CYA of 40 (of course those numbers will vary depending on what level of CYA I achieve). So when the Green-Oasis method says "shock", I would dump in 2 bottles (depending on where my FC is, right now it's 0). And, from what I can tell, 2 bottles of bleach is about 5$ and that is a little cheaper than 6.50$ for 2 bags of shock I've been doing... but once I get the FC level, I no longer need to shock weekly, just keeps tabs on the FC, and add the appropriate amnt. of bleach daily to keep it at that level. Does that all sound about right?
    Pool Info:
    13,500 gallons
    DE Filter (Hayward)
    Inground
    Plaster finish?
    I have a 1hp pump, 36" grids in the DE, thats all I know.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Need some opinions. Clean pool or start over.

    the bbb method is...an acronym that the forum uses for pool care. bleach is 6% chlorine and chlorine from the pool stores in this area is 10.5%. if you want to save money, you should buy chlorine, not bleach. not to mention you''ll be hauling around half the amount of chlorine jugs as you would bleach bottles. believe me, this will be a blessing in itself. I pay about $1.13/gallon for chlorine. sams sells roughly 4.5 gallons of bleach for $8.12. sign up for the leslie's and pinch a penny mailing lists. that will get you buy 2 get 1 free deals on chlorine every 2-3 weeks. leslie's also has a punch card - buy 10 get 11th chlorine free. and at my leslie's, wednesday is double punch day (2 punches on the card for every 1 chlorine purchase). yours may be the same, I would ask them. anyway, bleach is significantly more expensive for us in central fl compared to chlorine from the pool store.
    go ahead and buy CYA if you need to, but I would shoot for a target of 30ppm while shocking. this will require less chlorine to shock it. then you can raise it to 50ppm when you're done shocking if you'd like.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need some opinions. Clean pool or start over.

    I would agree with Reebok on this one. Bleach is liquid chlorine is bleach. Just different strengths, so it is "BBB".

    You can use bleach OR liquid chlorine, you have to shop around and calculate who has what and for the best price. Around $3 a gallon is a good price for the strong stuff, I've seen the best price for 6% bleach is the Wal-Mart store brand for $2.54 for the large 182 oz jugs.

    As for a test kit, the HTH 6 way doesn't test FC. It only tests total chlorine up to 5. You need an FAS-DPD test if you are going to clear this up. It doesn't make sense to me to spend $20 on the HTH kit when it's not what you need.

    Order either the TF100 (better value for the money) or the Taylor K-2006. The kit seems pricey but it will last at LEAST two seasons and takes all the guesswork out, it gives you total control of your pool.

    Calculate your CYA addition carefully, don't overshoot your target. If you have been using tabs/dichlor you have SOME in your pool - the question is, how much, and I wouldn't trust a pool store's testing.

    Add it via the "sock" method - don't follow dosing or addition instructions on the label.

    Yes, once your FC holds overnight, by maintaining your FC levels with daily additions of bleach you should rarely, if ever, have to shock. Our pools have the same amount of gallons and 1-2 large jugs of 6% will last me 1-2 weeks. Can't get any cheaper than that.
    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

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Need some opinions. Clean pool or start over.

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Phosphates are algae food, but if you maintain proper FC levels they are irrelevant. JasonLion's phosphates are over 1000, and he doesn't get algae....
    I agree that in a properly maintained pool, phosphates probably don't matter much. However, it makes fighting an algae bloom that much harder to do and will probably require more chlorine to do it. Phosphates are recognized algae food which will encourage more growth while you are trying to kill it.
    I understand and agree with you on this Mas. I helped clean up and balance 3 nasty pools, this year. All had very high levels of phosphates. One of them (the last one), the owner already had on hand a bottle of SeaKlear phosphate remover, so we used it after the initial day or so of high level shocking. The clean up process went much quicker on that pool. Around here, SeaKlear price has dropped to about half of what it was last year, so all in all, it's not the worst expense you could make on a pool here if you are having trouble getting rid of algae. Now, whether it's worthwhile to continue using it as a weekly ounce or 2 maintenance dose - I don't know. I suppose keeping phosphates really low may be good if one frequently lets their chlorine level drop too low.
    Buggs

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
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  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Need some opinions. Clean pool or start over.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buggsw
    I suppose keeping phosphates really low may be good if one frequently lets their chlorine level drop too low.
    That's exactly how phosphate removers should be seen -- somewhat similar to using an algaecide on a regular basis. It's an extra cost alternative to prevent algae growth IF you can't properly maintain an appropriate Free Chlorine (FC) level relative to the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level. However, these things are not only extra cost, but have side effects. The precipitated phosphate can cloud the pool and needs to be filtered out (or if there is a lot, vacuum-to-waste). Also, some fill water has phosphates in it so it's a never-ending maintenance item (and potential source of cloudy water). One could also just add a copper-based algaecide to kill algae, but that too has side effects of staining, green hair, etc. This is why we generally recommend minimizing the chemicals that are put into the water -- especially those with side effects.

    As for killing an existing algae bloom, phosphate removers, sodium bromide algaecides, and ammonia-based algaecides all stop the algae growth, but they don't oxidize the algae itself very effectively (bromine does somewhat, but not as well as chlorine). Usually, such products are used to get around a high CYA level that makes the chlorine less effective at killing and oxidizing the algae, but after you use such products you STILL need to address the high CYA level via partial drain/refill. So it's usually more practical to just start right off with physical removal of water and while doing this one can physically remove as much algae as possible via skimmer socks, filtration and backwashing, scooping, etc.

    There's no one "best" way to deal with these things, but using chlorine alone is the most straightforward and will usually clear a pool in less than a week. See this post for a typical example. As for an ongoing maintenance "insurance" item to prevent algae growth (which is unnecessary if one maintains an appropriate FC/CYA level), it looks like borates are the best bet since it has the least side effects and also provides additional pH buffering and perceived water clarity as a bonus (the only downside being more harmful water to dogs that drink cups of pool water every day). PolyQuat 60 would be the next best choice if one has to have an alagecide as a preventative or insurance policy against low FC/CYA levels.

    Richard
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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