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Thread: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

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    Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    Hi, I keep getting algae, due most likely to PHin recommending chlorine top ups at too low a level. I keep the pool heated so think I just need to keep the levels higher.

    I'd like the most hands off way to do that. Would converting to salt be that way?

    Thanks!


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    Mod Squad mknauss's Avatar
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    Re: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    Welcome to the forum!

    You need chlorine. Saltwater Chlorine Generator's make chlorine, you can use liquid chlorine (aka bleach), or solid chlorine. Solid chlorine comes with by-products (CYA and/or Calcium) that build up and cause problems.

    First - you need a proper test kit. A Taylor K2006C or TF100. I use the TF100.

    While you wait on the kit, read Pool School.

    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
    Pool School - How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart
    Pool School - What is TFPC?
    Pool School - Test Kits Compared

    That's a start.

    If the PHin thing is that device that is supposed to tell you what you need and they send it to you, obviously it does not work. Quit following it. Get a test kit.

    Take care.
    6000 Gallon IG Fiberglass with integrated Spa;Pentair CCP240 Cartridge Filter with Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump and HTR250 heater. IC40 SWG. EasyTouch 4. Dolphin Active20 Robot "Roadrunner", TF 100 Test Kit w/SpeedStir!
    CLICK HERE to Become a TroubleFreePool.com Supporter!! Pool Math App
    Marty

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    P,

    Welcome to TFP... A great place to find the answers to all your pool maintenance questions...

    The short answer is... NO, it will not on its own..

    No matter how you chlorinate your pool, you still have to continually test and adjust the chemical levels to ensure they are correct...

    The reason you, or anyone else, gets algae is because you let your FC level get to low compared to your CYA level... See this chart... FC/CYA Chart

    As long as your FC is kept at the proper level, you will never get algae...

    That said, nothing is more "hands off" than a saltwater pool when it comes to daily maintenance.. But it still requires you to test your pool water, understand the readings and make any necessary adjustments.

    How often do you test now and what type of test kit are you using??

    Thanks for posting,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    aussieta's Avatar
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    Re: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    yes and no
    it will help compensate for laziness
    wont make up for incorrect water chemistry
    if you dont have your water balanced correctly you will get algae regardless of how you chlorinate
    SWG inground peanut shaped eco-bright concrete pool
    50,000 litres 13,000 gallons
    Lincoln Salt Chlorinator, 25 gram cell Sand Filter with glass media
    Taylor K2006-C test kit, Taylor K-1766 salt test, Dolphin M500 pool cleaner
    are you taking care of your pool or is the poolshop taking care of you

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    Re: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    Thanks guys. My cya is very high around 300 but we half drained and it didn't help.

    So is that the real cause?

    16,000 gallon pool.


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    AftonJeeper's Avatar
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    Re: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    The recommended level for CYA is 30 in a non SWG pool. I would encourage you to get a quality test kit, the two Marty recommended above are great. I have the TF-100, get the speed stir also!

    If you can get your CYA down around the recommended level your algae problems should come to an end as long as you follow this chart: FC/CYA Chart
    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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    Re: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by AftonJeeper View Post
    The recommended level for CYA is 30 in a non SWG pool. I would encourage you to get a quality test kit, the two Marty recommended above are great. I have the TF-100, get the speed stir also!

    If you can get your CYA down around the recommended level your algae problems should come to an end as long as you follow this chart: FC/CYA Chart
    Thank you!


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    Re: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    Turns out I can't go salt because of the copper piping.

    I had a great pool guy come out. He's going to completely drain the pool, acid wash, fill, get all the levels perfect, and leave me ready to go. $800; sounded about right.


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    Re: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    Without a proper test kit and taking care of your own pool, it's going to happen again.
    Casey
    Intex 24' x 52" closed for winter 2018, 2 Main Drains, 1 Skimmer, 1 Return, PVC
    1/2 HP Intex Pump 633T w/ Taeglus TA-40 175 lb 19.5" Sand Filter, Auqabot Extreme Robot
    TF-50 and Taylor 2006 Test Kits, Quality Well Water, Fleck 5800SXT Water Softener

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    Re: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by cfherrman View Post
    Without a proper test kit and taking care of your own pool, it's going to happen again.
    What makes you think I don't have a proper test kit? Have you been to my house? I have a full spectrum testing system.

    We bought the house with the pool having high cya a year ago. If the cya goes above 80 with the new water I'll stop using tablets until it drops again.

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    Re: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    What test kit do you have?

    16,000 gallons, in-ground, plaster, Hayward Pro Grid DE filter, 2 HP single-speed pump, solar heater, solar cover, Doheny's Discovery (Maytronics S200) robot, K-2006 test kit.

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    Re: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by elight View Post
    What test kit do you have?
    pHin and their strips. They test cya and everything.


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    Re: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    Ever since I have heard about pHin and other "smart" testers I have been warning people against them. Simply put, they do very little to justify their cost.

    The actual pHin unit has 3 sensors: a thermometer, an ORP sensor to measure chlorine, and a pH sensor. Unfortunately one big issue with ORP sensors is that they lose a lot of accuracy as the CYA level increases. Even going above 30 can start to cause erroneous readings. With that sensor being untrustworthy you are left with a thermometer and pH sensor. Figure out the price of a digital thermometer and pH meter and you will see why pHin is not a very good value.

    Now, consider the competition. If you pop in to Walmart you can find a set of Clorox test strips that you scan with a smart phone and it reads the strips and inputs the values in to an app which tells you what to add to your pool. Pretty much what pHin does. $7.00 Only seven dollars for virtually the same thing. Nothing pHin adds is worth the price they charge for it.

    However, we still do not recommend either. Why? Test strips are notoriously unreliable. We have seen several times where someone will dip two strips from the same jar and get different readings on both of them. People with fresh fills have reported a CYA level of 50 when there is no CYA in any water supplies in the US. They are invalidated when chlorine levels are a bit elevated, they are ruined if moisture gets to them, and with the manufacturers competing to keep price down the quality is just abysmal.

    When we try to help someone with their water chemistry we know that accurate and reliable numbers are the foundation to that. We take water testing very seriously here, it is the only way to know you are doing it right. It is the reason most of us rarely see a single speck of green in our pools. That and recognizing the effect CYA has on chlorine and adjusting accordingly, a relationship discovered 40 years ago yet the industry is only just starting to take the smallest of baby steps towards implementing.

    But anyway, I wish you luck with your pool. Hopefully a fresh fill will do the trick for you and you can get back to enjoying it. If you need any help you know where to find us and what information we will need to be of assistance.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath

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    Re: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson View Post
    Ever since I have heard about pHin and other "smart" testers I have been warning people against them. Simply put, they do very little to justify their cost.

    The actual pHin unit has 3 sensors: a thermometer, an ORP sensor to measure chlorine, and a pH sensor. Unfortunately one big issue with ORP sensors is that they lose a lot of accuracy as the CYA level increases. Even going above 30 can start to cause erroneous readings. With that sensor being untrustworthy you are left with a thermometer and pH sensor. Figure out the price of a digital thermometer and pH meter and you will see why pHin is not a very good value.

    Now, consider the competition. If you pop in to Walmart you can find a set of Clorox test strips that you scan with a smart phone and it reads the strips and inputs the values in to an app which tells you what to add to your pool. Pretty much what pHin does. $7.00 Only seven dollars for virtually the same thing. Nothing pHin adds is worth the price they charge for it.

    However, we still do not recommend either. Why? Test strips are notoriously unreliable. We have seen several times where someone will dip two strips from the same jar and get different readings on both of them. People with fresh fills have reported a CYA level of 50 when there is no CYA in any water supplies in the US. They are invalidated when chlorine levels are a bit elevated, they are ruined if moisture gets to them, and with the manufacturers competing to keep price down the quality is just abysmal.

    When we try to help someone with their water chemistry we know that accurate and reliable numbers are the foundation to that. We take water testing very seriously here, it is the only way to know you are doing it right. It is the reason most of us rarely see a single speck of green in our pools. That and recognizing the effect CYA has on chlorine and adjusting accordingly, a relationship discovered 40 years ago yet the industry is only just starting to take the smallest of baby steps towards implementing.

    But anyway, I wish you luck with your pool. Hopefully a fresh fill will do the trick for you and you can get back to enjoying it. If you need any help you know where to find us and what information we will need to be of assistance.
    Thanks for the interesting info. You do know the pHin price includes all chemicals delivered to your door by FedEx, no matter how much you need? I think I've actually cost pHin money as a company. So I like it.

    Here's what it tells me. It may be slightly inaccurate due to the current cya.

    Don't judge my current levels please! Getting fixed next week.

    $299 for a year's worth of chemicals delivered is a fair deal I think.

    Do you have a link to what you recommend buying?

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    aussieta's Avatar
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    Re: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    swg will be fine with copper pipes
    ask all the people with heaters
    just need to keep your csi balanced
    how can your sanitiser chart show balanced with a cya of 250
    sounds like you want to stick with the phin
    your pool your decision
    good luck
    fyi my pool costs around $50 per year in chemicals not including run cost (swg)
    SWG inground peanut shaped eco-bright concrete pool
    50,000 litres 13,000 gallons
    Lincoln Salt Chlorinator, 25 gram cell Sand Filter with glass media
    Taylor K2006-C test kit, Taylor K-1766 salt test, Dolphin M500 pool cleaner
    are you taking care of your pool or is the poolshop taking care of you

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    Re: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    Ive never heard of this pHin. Sounds interesting! But, I probably spent a total of $30-40 on chemicals last year. I canít imagine spending $300! I personally only buy liquid chlorine from Walmart (I have a SWG so I donít spend a lot on it, Muriatic Acid from Home Depot, Baking Soda from Walmart, and occasionally Calcium Hardness (I think I only added this once last year). My pool water is super sparkly and I never (knock on wood) had an algae problem.


    16k Gallon, IG Vinyl, 16 x 34 x 25 Lagoon. Pentair Intelliflo VS2, ScreenLogic 2, Pentair Sand Filter, Colorlogic LEDs, TF-100, Speedstir, Pentair 920 Prowler (Rosie), and all wine is fine.





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    Re: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    As you can see, people here are not fans of PHin. We do not believe the tests to be accurate, the system to be manageable in the long run, nor the cost to be a good value.

    I made so many mistakes in my first year of pool ownership. Thought I could cut corners and do it "my way". Bought cheap test kits. Listened to horrible advice from "professionals" who I assumed knew what they were talking about. Spent a ton of money with no results.

    We believe the only way to properly care for your pool is to purchase one of the aforementioned test kits and follow the methods described on this site. As was said, it's your pool, so you get to do whatever you want! But you are unlikely to find anywhere here that condones other systems and methods (since most of us have already made the same mistakes).

    Good luck!

    16,000 gallons, in-ground, plaster, Hayward Pro Grid DE filter, 2 HP single-speed pump, solar heater, solar cover, Doheny's Discovery (Maytronics S200) robot, K-2006 test kit.

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    Re: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    Thanks for all the advice. You're certainly making me rethink pHin. I do love gadgets. Being able to check the pool temperature from the couch on my phone, and having Google Home announce out loud when I need to add shock, are things I enjoy. All that plus the device, hub, and chemicals including their neat water soluble plastic packets that you just throw in seem cool to me for $300. Yes, I could do it all with Wal-Mart stuff for a lot less though...

    Quote Originally Posted by aussieta View Post
    swg will be fine with copper pipes
    ask all the people with heaters
    just need to keep your csi balanced
    This is interesting. I had a very knowledgeable pool guy come out today, and he said I would have to replace the copper to convert to SWG.

    I do have a heater and we keep the pool HOT. Around 87įF.

    Basically I want to do less work, have less algae, and have sparkling water. SWG seemed the way to go, but when copper seemed to be a deal breaker. Thoughts?

    Also how much should I pay for a SWG conversion in total?

    Thanks guys! I may be a "convert" yet.

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    Re: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Pooli View Post
    Thanks for the interesting info. You do know the pHin price includes all chemicals delivered to your door by FedEx, no matter how much you need? I think I've actually cost pHin money as a company. So I like it.
    One of their partners is Lonza, a chemical manufacturer, so trust me when I say they are not losing money on the chemicals they send you. I guess though it all depends on what you consider "value". Personally I value having a clean, sanitary, and comfortable pool more than anything.

    As far as the information the pHin app gives you, I only have one comment: "Sanitizer OK" is not a number.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath

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    Re: Will going salt help with algae? A pHin Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson View Post
    As far as the information the pHin app gives you, I only have one comment: "Sanitizer OK" is not a number.
    I mean, it looks like 7.4 to me. More accurate than the test strips I had before where I had to judge by color shade. I'm red-green color blind for a start.

    But as I say, I'm open to ditching pHin. See post above.


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