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Thread: All I did was go away for a few days!

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    BigGuy's Avatar
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    All I did was go away for a few days!

    Hi Everyone,

    First let me say that I have always has problems with my water being stable in my pool, that is until I came here last year and started reading... thanks for all the good info! Since I switched to the BBB method, my pool has been a sparkling oasis!

    Recently, we had about 13 days of rain in a row, some very heavy downpours, but I was checking and adjusting almost daily, so there was little if any effect. However, last Friday, I went away for a few days, and when I came back, green! I asked my wife why the pump was off and she said the boys had friends over on the weekend and she kept it running by taking off the timer switches! Argh! So since Sunday, the filter hasn't run at all!

    So in a panic, I ran out to Wally World and bought all the bleach they had and put in 9 - 64oz 6.5% bottles yesterday evening and brushed the pool down. This morning, the water has a blueish tint to it and there were a couple of lines of brown on the bottom, which I brushed to the main drain again. What are these brown lines? Is it dead green algae?

    I don't have a good test kit, but I am going to order one ASAP. The kit I have only has the following:
    PH 9
    FC 10
    TA 100
    CYA 80

    Without any other tests, can anyone offer any advise? I'm going to watch the FC twice a day and keep it high until things clear up; is this correct?

    And yes, I have already beat her, whipped her, flogged her, tarred and feathered her and put her in the stockade awaiting a stoning later on today
    10YO Gunnite IG, 18K gal, 8hrs direct sunlight w/waterfall. Purex, Triton Sand Filter w/1hp pump, 3/4hp booster pump w/Letro Legend sweep & Rainbow auto/chlorinater set on 5 (max). Filter clock runs from 2am to 6am summer, 2am to 4am winter. Pool sweep runs 2am to 4am. Bleach is the main source of chlorine w/3" tabs in the auto chlorinater. Daily tests w/AquaCheck strips.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: All I did was go away for a few days!

    I'm sorry we don't tolerate the feathering. It leaves too much crud in the skimmer.

    Yes, that sounds like dead algae.

    What kit are you using in the meantime?
    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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    Re: All I did was go away for a few days!

    With a CYA of 80 your shock level is ~30, and you need to maintain that level until you kill the algae. With a FC level of 9 you are only at your everyday target level. Keep the pump running, brush, vac to waste if you can. Tough without being able to test for CC's. But you can do it! Good luck. Would be good if you could bring you CYA down some at some point, makes for having to use less chlorine. When I inherited our pool with the house it was at 130 CYA (3 years ago), I finally have it down to 60 and wil get it a little lower for next year.

    Though the feather's may be easier to clean up than the tar.
    Mona SE MN
    24' round 48" high AG
    Meteor Sand Filter
    1.5 HP pump

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    BigGuy's Avatar
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    Re: All I did was go away for a few days!

    I'm using a generic kit from Wally World... I know, I have to get a real one.

    Okay, so the calculator does say 6-11 for the goal. So then I guess I have to add more bleach tonight?

    Thanks!
    10YO Gunnite IG, 18K gal, 8hrs direct sunlight w/waterfall. Purex, Triton Sand Filter w/1hp pump, 3/4hp booster pump w/Letro Legend sweep & Rainbow auto/chlorinater set on 5 (max). Filter clock runs from 2am to 6am summer, 2am to 4am winter. Pool sweep runs 2am to 4am. Bleach is the main source of chlorine w/3" tabs in the auto chlorinater. Daily tests w/AquaCheck strips.

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    Re: All I did was go away for a few days!

    Are you sure? Mona says the calculator at CYA 80 says the shock goal is 30, not 10-11.
    15X30 AGP, Lomart beaded liner;
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: All I did was go away for a few days!

    Mona's advice is spot on. It will be difficult to shock without an FAS-DPD test, the OTO from Wally's won't help you much since your shock level is in fact, 30.
    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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    Re: All I did was go away for a few days!

    Emphasizing the need for a good kit, if you got a test result of pH 9, you should throw away all your testing material and start over. Go to a pool store and get your pH tested.......it should be around 7.4.....9.0 is w-a-a-a-a--y too high!

    Please don't misconsture this but you are not doing BBB. BBB is all about accurate testing and understanding what to do with the results. Get yourself a good kit and get up into pool school and read how to manage your water......that CYA needs to come down.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: All I did was go away for a few days!

    Okay, I didn't see the Suggested FC Levels at the bottom which says Shock 21.

    I am going to order the test kit on line. And thanks for the idea of the pool store, I'll see what they say as well, but they have always sold me a LOT of expensive chemicals that never solved the problems in the past. I guess I can just get their print out for reference.

    Thanks!
    10YO Gunnite IG, 18K gal, 8hrs direct sunlight w/waterfall. Purex, Triton Sand Filter w/1hp pump, 3/4hp booster pump w/Letro Legend sweep & Rainbow auto/chlorinater set on 5 (max). Filter clock runs from 2am to 6am summer, 2am to 4am winter. Pool sweep runs 2am to 4am. Bleach is the main source of chlorine w/3" tabs in the auto chlorinater. Daily tests w/AquaCheck strips.

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    Re: All I did was go away for a few days!

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Emphasizing the need for a good kit, if you got a test result of pH 9, you should throw away all your testing material and start over. Go to a pool store and get your pH tested.......it should be around 7.4.....9.0 is w-a-a-a-a--y too high!
    I know... so do I add muriatic acid?

    Please don't misconsture this but you are not doing BBB. BBB is all about accurate testing and understanding what to do with the results. Get yourself a good kit and get up into pool school and read how to manage your water......that CYA needs to come down.
    I realize that also, and I am going to order a real test kit next Friday. For now I have to work with what I have. What other way can I lower the CYA other than dumping water and adding new?

    Also, I just got home and added the rest of the bleach I had on hand, 6 more 64oz 6.5%. When I got home the color has now gone to a light blue and there is very little of the brown algae left - I swept it down to the main drain. I have to go and get some more right now.

    The reason I never got a good test kit was because I could never manage the water before and always had a pool guy come over for $170/month. Two years ago or so I found this site (actually it was another that I eventually linked here from) and switched to a quasi BBB system and the water has really been perfect according to my test kit and the looks of it since then. It was only when I went away and my wife turned off the filter timer that this all started.

    I am going to invest in a real kit next week...


    -Rich
    10YO Gunnite IG, 18K gal, 8hrs direct sunlight w/waterfall. Purex, Triton Sand Filter w/1hp pump, 3/4hp booster pump w/Letro Legend sweep & Rainbow auto/chlorinater set on 5 (max). Filter clock runs from 2am to 6am summer, 2am to 4am winter. Pool sweep runs 2am to 4am. Bleach is the main source of chlorine w/3" tabs in the auto chlorinater. Daily tests w/AquaCheck strips.

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    Re: All I did was go away for a few days!

    I know... so do I add muriatic acid?
    Probably not. a pH of 9.0 indicates a testing error....pool test kits don't go that high. Please get a pH reading you can trust and post that.

    The only way to reduce the CYA in your pool is thru a partial drain and refill.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: All I did was go away for a few days!

    My kit goes up to 8.4, but I said 9.0 because it was redder than the 8.4.
    10YO Gunnite IG, 18K gal, 8hrs direct sunlight w/waterfall. Purex, Triton Sand Filter w/1hp pump, 3/4hp booster pump w/Letro Legend sweep & Rainbow auto/chlorinater set on 5 (max). Filter clock runs from 2am to 6am summer, 2am to 4am winter. Pool sweep runs 2am to 4am. Bleach is the main source of chlorine w/3" tabs in the auto chlorinater. Daily tests w/AquaCheck strips.

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    BigGuy's Avatar
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    Re: All I did was go away for a few days!

    Okay just checked again:
    PH 8.4
    FC 10 or more
    TA 100
    CYA 40

    I guess I did something wrong earlier today...
    10YO Gunnite IG, 18K gal, 8hrs direct sunlight w/waterfall. Purex, Triton Sand Filter w/1hp pump, 3/4hp booster pump w/Letro Legend sweep & Rainbow auto/chlorinater set on 5 (max). Filter clock runs from 2am to 6am summer, 2am to 4am winter. Pool sweep runs 2am to 4am. Bleach is the main source of chlorine w/3" tabs in the auto chlorinater. Daily tests w/AquaCheck strips.

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    Re: All I did was go away for a few days!

    If your pH is 8.4, you should lower it into the mid 7's.

    Receheck your CYA testing.....it was 70 this morning and tested 40 this evening.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: All I did was go away for a few days!

    Your kit only tests TC up to 5, and BR up to 10. So is your OTO test showing a yellow color matching the top shade? You can try the dilution method: 3:1 ratio of distilled water to pool water and then multiply the result by 4. This loses accuracy. A high FC level would look orange, much darker than the top shade of yellow on the comparator tube which is only 5.

    I would lower your PH to 7.4 with acid. The wallyworld PH test is relatively accurate, so I'm assuming your FC is only 5. If your FC was over 10, then the PH would read a false-high, but I don't think that's the case here. I would go ahead and lower the PH. Wait 30 minutes and resume shocking, try the dilution method to test a TC of up to 20.
    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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    Re: All I did was go away for a few days!

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Your kit only tests TC up to 5, and BR up to 10. So is your OTO test showing a yellow color matching the top shade?
    Free Chlorine measures up to 10 and dark purple is the color, the strip is darker than the #10 color. I don't know what an OTO test is.

    You can try the dilution method: 3:1 ratio of distilled water to pool water and then multiply the result by 4. This loses accuracy. A high FC level would look orange, much darker than the top shade of yellow on the comparator tube which is only 5.
    I don't have any tubes, these are AquaCheck test strips from Wally World.

    I would lower your PH to 7.4 with acid. The wallyworld PH test is relatively accurate, so I'm assuming your FC is only 5. If your FC was over 10, then the PH would read a false-high, but I don't think that's the case here. I would go ahead and lower the PH. Wait 30 minutes and resume shocking, try the dilution method to test a TC of up to 20.
    Just triple checked the pool again. PH is slightly darker than the highest reading, 8.4, so I'm guessing at 9 - FC is darker purple than 10 - TA is right between 80 & 120 and Stabilizer (CYA?) is in the 30 to 60 range, probably around 40.

    I think I may have touched the strip or something this morning and got a bad reading.
    10YO Gunnite IG, 18K gal, 8hrs direct sunlight w/waterfall. Purex, Triton Sand Filter w/1hp pump, 3/4hp booster pump w/Letro Legend sweep & Rainbow auto/chlorinater set on 5 (max). Filter clock runs from 2am to 6am summer, 2am to 4am winter. Pool sweep runs 2am to 4am. Bleach is the main source of chlorine w/3" tabs in the auto chlorinater. Daily tests w/AquaCheck strips.

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    Re: All I did was go away for a few days!

    Please just take some water to the pool store for testing or get a drop kit from wal-mart

    Also what brand of bleach are you buying that is 64oz & 6.5%?
    I consider myself very lucky I found this site before the pool store found me-pool owner since Nov 2008- Stunningly clear 17,000 gal fiberglass pool, thanks to this site, installed in 1982-24" 3.1sq. ft sta-rite sand filter, 1 hp - 2 speed wisperflo pump-WFDS-4

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    Re: All I did was go away for a few days!

    Oops, sorry, 182oz and 6% - Clorox. It's been a long 2 days since I got back...

    I really don't have the money to throw away right now on multiple test kits - should I get the cheap one, or wait for payday and get the right one?
    10YO Gunnite IG, 18K gal, 8hrs direct sunlight w/waterfall. Purex, Triton Sand Filter w/1hp pump, 3/4hp booster pump w/Letro Legend sweep & Rainbow auto/chlorinater set on 5 (max). Filter clock runs from 2am to 6am summer, 2am to 4am winter. Pool sweep runs 2am to 4am. Bleach is the main source of chlorine w/3" tabs in the auto chlorinater. Daily tests w/AquaCheck strips.

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    Re: All I did was go away for a few days!

    Now that we're clear you have strips, we need to restart our thinking a little bit.

    First off: If the strips show FC > 10 then ignore the pH test, the high chlorine level will make it read falsely high. I think everybody will agree on that much.

    About testing: In many parts of the country, Wally sells a "6-way" test kit for $20-ish where you fill tubes with water and put drops of stuff in to turn it colors, and that's how you take your measurements. But I've heard that in some areas they only carry the strips, nothing else. If you don't find the 6-way kit with the drops, and you can't spring for the high-end kit, then we'll just have to live with the strips. Unless there's a bonafide pool store near you; in that case most places will test your water for free. Bring in a pint or so. Leslie's does that for example, they have a couple stores in the New Orleans area.

    If all else fails: You can dilute a sample and use the strips on that. Here's what you do. First, get a water sample into a clean bottle of some kind, from elbow-deep in the pool. Measure out 1 cup into a bowl. Then add another 1 cup of filtered water (tap water will do if you don't have a filter) to the bowl. (The "1 cup" part isn't that important, but using exactly the same amount of pool water and filtered/tap water is important.) Now use the strip on the water in the bowl. The readings should be about half of what the pool has in it.

    This scheme is not perfect, because even filtered water will have stuff in it that will affect the results a little; you'd need to use distilled water to do it "right." But your FC levels are high enough that I think it won't make enough difference to matter on that reading; and tap water never has CYA so we can get a double-check on that as well. The other parameters are pretty irrelevant for the moment.

    Now, if your CYA is really 80, then FC 10 is really just the high end of normal. Your shock level is more like 20. So, you want the strip to read 10+ when you test the diluted water.

    Let us know how that goes.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

  19. Back To Top    #19
    BigGuy's Avatar
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    Re: All I did was go away for a few days!

    Okay, I get it, neat idea! I got a brand new bottle of Kentwood spring water and poured out 2/3 of a cup into a measuring cup. Emptied the bottle and went and got an elbow deep sample and poured 2/3 into another measuring cup and then combined both into the original bottle. Here's the result:

    CYA Yellow (chart is gold to purple, doesn't match anywhere)
    TA 80
    FC 10+
    PH 7.2

    So at 50%, this means my FC is more than 20 right? Garbage day today and I bagged 11 empty bottles of 182oz, 6% - Clorox.

    I'm going to bring a bottle of water to Penguin Pools during lunch today. I believe they give out a free computer print out.

    By the way, the pool is now a nice blue color and the cloudiness is almost gone - I can clearly see the main drain. There is also no more of the brown algae appearing anywhere.
    10YO Gunnite IG, 18K gal, 8hrs direct sunlight w/waterfall. Purex, Triton Sand Filter w/1hp pump, 3/4hp booster pump w/Letro Legend sweep & Rainbow auto/chlorinater set on 5 (max). Filter clock runs from 2am to 6am summer, 2am to 4am winter. Pool sweep runs 2am to 4am. Bleach is the main source of chlorine w/3" tabs in the auto chlorinater. Daily tests w/AquaCheck strips.

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    Re: All I did was go away for a few days!

    Yes, if the strips are worth anything then you have FC 20+. I don't know how this scheme affects TA and pH so let's ignore those. I don't know how to interpret the CYA result but let's see what the pool store has to say.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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