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Thread: I need help...Out of POP

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    riverheightsnancy's Avatar
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    I need help...Out of POP

    Hi all. I did an ascorbic acid treatment @ 3 weeks ago, everything was peachy and the pool puuurrfect. Clear water, clean walls, just the best ever.

    About 2 weeks after the treatment, I noticed some cloudiness and thought, "Must be some algae, I'll shock". Well that has been almost 2 weeks ago and my pool is a royal mess. Since yesterday I have added no less than 15 bottles of the 1.4 gallon Clorox bottles from BJs. My husband thinks I am an idiot and this "BBB stuff, doesn't work." He is ready to call in a pool guy (shudder) and fix "my mistake". Add to that the pool actually smells bad, like a moldy sock. The pool is an extremely cloudy, slightly green clolor. You can see down about one or two feet. The drains in the deep end are completely gone. Leading up to this I brushed and vaccumed everyday for 4 days straight. My Taylor test kit says that I am above 25 ppm for FC and no CC at all. I have held that for two days straight. (I don't know how to test for higher CL with the Taylor's kit) I have already backwashed my filter today twice adding new DE. I did this twice yesterday too. Is it possible that I have too much chlorine? I don't think it is calcium in the water as my numbers seem fine. I brought the PH and Alk down a tad, because it seems to be creeping up a bit. The only thing that I have added in the last 4 days is clorox. I have noticed some slight white dots (scale?) on the ladder in the deep end, they come right off though. Please help.

    Numbers from this AM
    FC 25
    TC 25
    CC 0
    PH 7.4
    ALK 125
    CH 237
    CYA 75

    I would like to bring down the CYA, but am not ready to pump out and add fresh water (which is high in calcium and iron) unless an expert says ok.
    1960s Original Sylvan Pool
    Concrete
    @ 30,000 Gallons
    Hayward DE Filter
    2 HP Hayward Pump
    BBB believer!

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Nancy,

    There's nothing I can see in your numbers that would indicate a problem. It's obvious you have one but your test results (at least for now) do not point to an answer.

    I have already backwashed my filter today twice adding new DE. I did this twice yesterday too.
    Are you getting a significant pressure increase to signal backwashing or are you backwashing just because you think you should? If it's a pressure increase, obviously, your filter is catching something. What does it look like it's catching?
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    riverheightsnancy's Avatar
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    Back to Dave

    I am backwashing because my DE pump generally runs between 8-12 pressure. It has been going up to 16, 18 and so on. I don't like to make the pump work so hard, so I tend to backwash when it is around 18 or slightly lower. I thought that would be helping clear the algae too. I can't tell what it is catching because it pumps out under ground to a culvert off our property. The glass observation bottle looks like DE. I know it is catching something. Generally speaking my pump stays at 12 pressure most of the time.

    Do you think adding PolyQuat 60 would help clump the dead algae?

    What I am stunned about is how quick this happened. I was getting clearer water yesterday. I decided to it hit hard yestreday to be sure there was no more algae, and today is the worst I have ever seen it. Not sure if it was mustard algae or green though.

    Thanks for the reply.
    1960s Original Sylvan Pool
    Concrete
    @ 30,000 Gallons
    Hayward DE Filter
    2 HP Hayward Pump
    BBB believer!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Which test kit are you using? I am not familiar with one that can test up to 25 ppm chlorine (up to 3, 5, 10, or 50 are the tests I am familiar with).

    You could try diluting your pool water one to one with distiled water and multiplying the result by two to get an estimate of the actual chlorine level. This will be a bit less accurate than the normal test, but it is better than guessing. I would like to know if you have any CC, which you can't know when the test is out of range.

    The PH test isn't reliable when FC is that high.

    What chemicals, if any, did you add around the time the water first became cloudy?
    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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    Re: Back to Dave

    Your first post and second posts have me confused. From your first post, I was under the assumption you have been treating your pool for algae for two weeks. In your next post, it appears you have been treating it for two days.

    What did your pool look like three days ago before you started adding clorox?
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    riverheightsnancy's Avatar
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    I am using the Taylor K-2005 kit. The kit goes up to 5ppm on the test bottle. The directions allow you to use 4.5 ml and multiply by 2, fill to 9 ml with tap water (with a max of 10ppm) and use a 1.8 ml sample fill to 9 ml and multiple by 5 for a max of 25 ppm. Not sure how to measure higher with this kit. I could check the Taylor site, just hadn't had time to. I think that I am above 25 ppm as my red color is darker than the comparison.

    I have been having a cloudiness problem for about 8 days. I (originally) thought it was iron staining coming back. It started with brownish deposits in the deep end. Since I had just treated the stain issue, I assumed it was returning stains. I had accidentally let the CL drop to about 3 ppm and did not realize it. I assumed that the "brown" was stains and treated for staining (Pink stuff and polyquat 60). As soon as I brought the chlorine up (FC 10) the stains disappeared and could be brushed off (not common with staining). I think (in retrospect) it was mustard algae. I have been treating the algae condition for about a week, but I think I was under-shocking and the problem was not getting resolved. Even though I have held a 25 ppm for the past 2 days, it seemed clearer yesterday although when I would brush the bottom I would see settled debris (white chalky) which I was vaccuming and pushing towards the bottom drain. I really thought that I had turned the corner yesterday as I posted to the forum about 4 days ago and got good advice and followed that.

    After reading about the mustard algae, I added a lot more bleach last night (to bring it up to 35) just to be sure it was all gone, and today I have a very cloudy, green mess this morning. What I don't understand is that is looked decent yesterday and I thought that I was making headway.

    When the original problem started I 1) let the CL get too low for my CYA (trying not to use the Trichlor in the inline chlorinator) and 2) had my solar rings in the pool (trying to raise temp because my pool is freezing!) I hadn't really been adding anything to it because it looked so great after the vitamin C treatment.

    Today I have added 18 bottles of 1.4 Clorox. Right now, it does seem to be less green. I imagine that I will be changing the DE in the filter again very soon. Is it possible to add too much clorox? Can that hurt the pool? I had read that one of the experts on this forum says to add bleach until clear. Does that mean all at once or over time?

    I really appreciated all the help. I would like to be able to use the pool a few more times before we have to close it!
    1960s Original Sylvan Pool
    Concrete
    @ 30,000 Gallons
    Hayward DE Filter
    2 HP Hayward Pump
    BBB believer!

  7. Back To Top    #7
    mbar's Avatar
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    First I would like you to post your numbers as of today - if you can get to a pool store to test the water that would be best *if you don't have a TFP pool kit . It seems to me that you have two problems going on now - you have algae, and taking it up to shock just once a day is not going to kill the algae. You will have to check every couple of hours and add bleach back up to 30ppms (with a cya of 75). Next I would be interested in what your calcium and alkalinity numbers are now, because you are probably precipitating calcium out of the water, causing the cloudiness and flakes. This happens with the sequestering agent and the algaecide sometimes. I would keep dumping bleach in the water -take it back up to 30 as often as you can, keeping the filter running 24/7. Be consistent - don't get discouraged. It is a lesson to learn that when the pool looks crystal clear, it is easy to forget to test and keep the chlorine up. You should keep a minimum of 8 to 10ppms in your water at all times till you get your cya down. As long as the bleach is getting used up it means that it is fighting something and you will not hurt the pool by adding too much bleach. If you only shock once, you may not kill all of the algae, and then it multiplys causing a much bigger mess Keep us informed, and we will try to help in any way we can
    16x33 fiberglass pool sand filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Yes, it is possible to put in too much bleach, though with a plaster pool and a CYA of 75 it would take some doing. Somewhere around a FC level of 80 or 90 you are going to start getting some metal corrosion.

    Mustard algae high shock level with a CYA of 75 is around FC of 42 to 45. You just added enough bleach to raise your FC by 45, and you were already at something above 25, which means you are now somewhere above 70, so I think you are over doing it a bit.

    There is also some risk because it is impossible to test PH while FC is much above 15, which means the PH could be getting out of hand. If the PH gets too low there can be metal corrosion and if it goes too high the chlorine won't be effecitve. With CYA of 75 it is going to be a while before the FC gets low enough to test the PH again.

    I know the whole process can get frustrating but you need to keep your chemical additions under control or you will create new, possibly more serious, problems.

    Diluting the FC test with tap water won't work if there is any chlorine in your tap water. It is simple enough to test your tap water to see if it has any chlorine in it. If you have a well there probably isn't and if you are on city water there probably is, but it is always best to test as there are exceptions. The safest thing is to dilute with distilled water. If you have any chlorine in your tap water the chlorine tests you have been doing with tap water dilution are meaningless.

    Since you are already diluting the FC test four to one you are already at the practical limit for that test. It would be a big help if you got a FAS-DPD chlorine test, which can measure FC levels up to 50. Without that it is going to be impossible to test to see if there was any chlorine loss overnight, which is the best indicator of when to stop keeping the pool at shock level.

    The approach where you keep on adding more chlorine is designed for green water and you keep on adding more bleach till the color changes, not till the water turns clear. It will take the filter several days to clear the water once the algae is all dead. You might want to try a floc treatment after the algae is dead, it is a bit more work and expense but it will clear the water overnight.
    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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    riverheightsnancy's Avatar
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    Thanks mbar. I am pretty sure that is what happened. I under-shocked, and now have a big mess. I just bought this Taylor test kit a month ago. I thought that it was a good one. I hate to buy another one. But it appears that the kit does not allow me to test a high enough level of CL to know really where I am. I know it is 25+, but not sure where exactly. My numbers this am were listed in the first post. Now they are this:

    I am concerned about the calcium issue though. What should I do about it?

    CL 25+ (cannot test higher)
    FC 25+
    ALK 100
    CH 220
    CYA 70
    Attached Files Attached Files
    1960s Original Sylvan Pool
    Concrete
    @ 30,000 Gallons
    Hayward DE Filter
    2 HP Hayward Pump
    BBB believer!

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    riverheightsnancy's Avatar
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    Ok. I just realized that the test kit that I bought is ONLY the DPD and not the FAS-DPD which is what I thought I was getting. It retailed for $85, got it for less. I can get my hands on the FAS-DPD Taylor kit tomorrow, I really hate to spend the money since I just bought this kit. We have an account at SCP, so it won't be retail anyway.

    Seeing as I am shooting in the dark with the chlorine, I will let it stay as is until tomorrow and I get the other kit. I will just filter and brush and change the DE filter.

    One question: when you all refer to a plaster pool does that mean mine? I have concrete. Do they always have plaster over the concrete? Mine just looks like paint. There are small chips where you can see the concrete.

    If you all think a floc would work, I could get some tomorrow. I thought PolyQuat 60 WAS a floc.

    Thanks to everyone. I am very discouraged that I created this mess when the pool was looking pretty good.
    1960s Original Sylvan Pool
    Concrete
    @ 30,000 Gallons
    Hayward DE Filter
    2 HP Hayward Pump
    BBB believer!

  11. Back To Top    #11
    mbar's Avatar
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    You can just buy the dpd powder itself. You also can test high chlorine levels with the "shot glass method" using a shot glass and distilled water, here is the method

    Here's the Jen-You-Whine CarlD Shot Glass Method!

    1) Get a shot glass (like you use to mix drinks).
    2) Get a gallon of steam distilled water--most mass-market drug chains stock it, and many supermarkets.
    3) Mix one shot glass full of pool water with one shot glass full of the distilled in a clean container (like a Pyrex measuring cup).
    4) Fill your test cell to the line with the mixture. Add your drops and take the reading.
    5) Whatever you read, double it. If it says "3ppm", you have 6ppm. If it reads "5ppm", you have 10ppm.
    6) If it's STILL seems like the chorine's too high to read, go to step seven....
    7) Mix 1 shot of pool water with TWO shots of distilled water, and re-run the test using that.
    8) Now TRIPLE your reading--if it reads "3", it's 9. If it reads "5", it's 15ppm.
    9) Going beyond two shots of distilled to 1 shot of pool water is possible (3 shots, quadruple your reading) but you lose accuracy fast. Still if it's the best way of reading chlorine, then you have to do it.

    CAVEAT: ONLY use this method to measure chlorine levels. Do not use it for the other tests you run, and do not use it with the FAS-DPD powder test--that goes to 50 to 100ppm of Free Chlorine anyway.

    This method is not as precise as the fas dpd test, but it will work till you get your test kit. Let me know if you have any other questios
    16x33 fiberglass pool sand filter

  12. Back To Top    #12
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Vinyl liner pools are much more sensitive to chlorine than concrete/plaster. Concrete pools are normally made as a thick layer of concrete covered with a thin layer of plaster. Paint, if any, is normally applied over the plaster. Concrete isn't completely waterproof. Plaster is waterproof, so it is normally used for the inner surface.

    PolyQuat is a clarifier as well as an algecide. Clarifier and floc overlap to some extent, some products will do both aceptably, some are better at one or the other. A calrifier is used while the filter is running to hlep clump very small particles together so the filter can catch them. Floc is used and then the filter it turned off to get medium and lage particles to clump together and settle to the bottom so you can vacuum them up. In either case the chemical is used to get things to clump together so they either filter or settle. Products designed specifically for floc treatments are generally a little less expensive than PolyQuat and more effective.
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    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

  13. Back To Top    #13
    riverheightsnancy's Avatar
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    Update:

    Yesterday the pool started to clear, much to my surprise. Today, I would say it is about 95% there. The FC is still holding at around 25ppm. I am adding water due to the excessive backwashing, hoping to dilute the FC a bit and the CYA. I haven't had to change the DE since two days ago as it is holding steady and not creeping up in the pressure. Thinking I will vaccuum it tomorrow, as there is a tiny bit of debris in the bottom from trees and such.

    Thanks for all the help. I guess, I did go a little overboard on the chlorine. However, on the flip side, I am pretty sure that there is nothing growing in this pool now!
    1960s Original Sylvan Pool
    Concrete
    @ 30,000 Gallons
    Hayward DE Filter
    2 HP Hayward Pump
    BBB believer!

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