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Thread: What to do until I get a test kit?

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    Join Date
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    What to do until I get a test kit?

    Hello All,

    I've been battling an algea problem the last month. We put our pool in this year and have really enjoyed it. I just took the pool stores advice and had them test my water and bought what they told me to buy. Big mistake! I've now learned they're either morons or scam artists. Our pool is used alot. It's a neighborhood hangout and we usually have 20-30 people a week in it. Some weekends we have that many in the pool at one time. Not lately. We started getting algea everytime it rained. Every stinking time it rained I bought another $20 bottle of algeacide. Well that was enough to p!$$ me off, but now the algeacide aint doing squat. Looking at some of the pictures on here, I'm guessing its mustard algea. It is green, turns brown when you kill it, is on the sides, and swirls like smoke when you move the water near it. Any ideas? Well a friend told me about this site and what a goober I am for spending $200-300 a month on my pool. I've been lurking a week or so and decided to make the switch to BBB. Problem is I don't have a decent test kit yet. What should I do til then? I bought 15 gallons of bleach and plan to start attacking the algea tonight and all week until the water clears up. I figure I can chlorinate by sight until it clears up and by then should have a test kit. Is this a bad idea? My plan is to add 6 gallons of bleach, sweep, add 2 more gallons, wait thirty minutes, and add 2 more gallons, then clean the filter with diluted bleach, and add a gallon each day until I get the kit. If it isnt clearing in a couple days, I'll shock it again. It's Labor Day weekend and my pool is closed!
    Sean H. in Dallas, Georgia (40 minutes NW of Atlanta)

    25,600 gallons, Above Ground (In direct sunlight all day) , Cartridge Filter, 2hp 2 speed Pump, I don't know the flow rate.

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    Re: What to do until I get a test kit?

    First I should have said, "Thanks for this great site. I knew there had to be some logic to all this chemical ****. I wish I'd known about it $1200 sooner."
    Sean H. in Dallas, Georgia (40 minutes NW of Atlanta)

    25,600 gallons, Above Ground (In direct sunlight all day) , Cartridge Filter, 2hp 2 speed Pump, I don't know the flow rate.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: What to do until I get a test kit?

    Welcome to TFP.
    There are a lot of former goobers here.

    You'll have the kit very quickly if you order from Dave, although with the holiday weekend it won't be as quick as it usually is. It will save you a ton of money. A Taylor K2006 is also a good kit, but you'll have to order it too probably. Same chemistry in both kits.

    You can get a cheap kit at Walmart and make do in the meantime by diluting your water sample with distilled water. 3 parts distilled to one part pool water means your test will show 1/4 of the actual chlorine reading.

    It's probably just normal Blue-Green Algae, and chlorine is a far better treatment than algaecide. If you have been using anything but a poly quaternary ammonium algaecide, you might have created problems for yourself. These are normally labelled with a 30 or 60 in the brand name.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: What to do until I get a test kit?

    What he said.

    Anyway you can get to the pool store and have them test the water for you (but don't buy anything ) that way you can get an idea of your CYA level? Otherwise the 6-way drop kit at Walmart does test CYA.

    That amount of bleach might be enough but then again if your CYA is too high it might not be enough at all... KWIM?

    Do not clean the filter with diluted bleach. There are instructions in Pool School on how to properly clean it (using a Cascade Dishwasher product) - you can probably just hose it off for now and give it a good soak when the chemistry issues are resolved.
    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: What to do until I get a test kit?

    Thanks for the tips. Good idea on getting the test from the store. That's the least they owe me anyway. I'll do that right now. Anyways, I stayed up all night bleaching and sweeping. Woke up to a good sight. It did some good. The stuff looks like dirt now. It's in brown piles on the bottom and nothing is on the sides. It was a consistent green layer covering everything. The water is cloudy but I can see the bottom. I know it may not all be dead yet, but I think last nights massacre was a good start.
    Sean H. in Dallas, Georgia (40 minutes NW of Atlanta)

    25,600 gallons, Above Ground (In direct sunlight all day) , Cartridge Filter, 2hp 2 speed Pump, I don't know the flow rate.

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: What to do until I get a test kit?

    Hi guitarguy and welcome to the forum

    Sounds like last night's massacre was a successful start

    $1200! Ouch! Now that you have found TFP, you'll be keeping more money in your wallet!

    Keep up the good work
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: What to do until I get a test kit?

    Alrighty, my test kit is on the way. Here's my numbers from the pool store.

    FAC=0
    TAC=0
    pH=7.4
    TA=110
    CH=220
    CYA=50
    TDS=500
    Phosphates=200

    The current pool temp is 80F. The pool calc tells me to add 7 gallons bleach, 14 oz. Soda Ash, and 152 oz. Calcium Chloride. Since it's vinyl, I don't care about the Calcium Chloride (right?). Should I add 7 gallons of bleach every day until I get the test kit? Thanks for the help and the friendly welcomes!

    p.s.- I've been adding a gallon a day since the massacre, but it obviously ain't doin' it.
    Sean H. in Dallas, Georgia (40 minutes NW of Atlanta)

    25,600 gallons, Above Ground (In direct sunlight all day) , Cartridge Filter, 2hp 2 speed Pump, I don't know the flow rate.

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: What to do until I get a test kit?

    No, not 7 gallons a day.

    7 gallons takes you from 0 to 25 ppm. You probably won't drop back to 0 by the next day. Either return to the pool store with a very fresh sample to be tested or buy a test kit to test yourself, possibly dilluting the sample to get an idea of the approximate FC level if it is above the test kit range.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: What to do until I get a test kit?

    I have some test strips. Can I do the three parts water to 1 part pool water trick with these?
    Sean H. in Dallas, Georgia (40 minutes NW of Atlanta)

    25,600 gallons, Above Ground (In direct sunlight all day) , Cartridge Filter, 2hp 2 speed Pump, I don't know the flow rate.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: What to do until I get a test kit?

    I think that would work, be sure to not use tap water which will have chlorine in it, use distilled or RO water.

    With a liner you do not want to ovedose on chlorine and risk damage to the liner.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: What to do until I get a test kit?

    Your PH and TA are fine, don't add the soda ash.
    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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