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Thread: Kill algea, cover before leaves fall, and more before close?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Bothell (near Seattle), WA

    Kill algea, cover before leaves fall, and more before close?

    I've got a ton problems all at once. My main problem is taking the time to do everything. If you have suggestions or reprioritization please reply!

    Problems (in rough order of priority)
    1. 20' tall blossoming cherry tree right next to our pool is ready to "drop the load"...
    Leaves are starting to fall and there are hundreds on the way in the next week or two.
    PLAN: Winter pool cover on. Yes, it will get chlorine and lots of rain on it. Fall wind and cooler temps + rain make this a big contributor to algea and general organic gook in the pool That's why I'm putting this as number 1.
    ISSUE: Bleach with cover on can't be good. I'll try keeping concentration away from the cover (temporary pull back near our return).

    2. Green algea is blooming again.
    PLAN: a. I've got bleach chlorine cranked to 10++ PPM (likely 15-20PPM) and will keep putting in up to 1/2 bottle bleach each day.
    B. Vacuuming & filtering daily until grean turns cloudy gray then at least mostly clears out. One trick is I'm using our
    ISSUE: I need to skim out leaves and brush bottom more frequently .
    ISSUE?: I'm not backwashing my filter. I figure extra residue will help filtration and 6% bleach pured into skimmer is likely keeping the algea killed in the filter... but your input is appreciated if you have experience indicating otherwise.
    QUESTION: If I use algecide do I have to get clear clean water first?

    3. I don't have a good test kit yet.
    I tried ordering from TFP once, but PayPal didn't like it and I forgot to follow-up . Good news is for Algea I just need lots of chlorine. (maybe PH is important?)
    PLAN: Keep using strips, over-chlorinate to manage problem #2. Order TFP kit soon (maybe tonight, maybe sometime next week... it depends on how much I do on higher priorities + playing with kids, dear wife, dogs, and helping clean the house.

    4. I want to close the pool
    Pool temp is about 50 degrees now and it won't get any warmer until next spring. Algecide will cut my time down dumping bleach and filtering daily
    PLAN: Do 1 through 3 first. Then drain below skimmer, add algecide and hand mix, drain/disconnect filter and pipes, and other normal steps. (I'll check other posts to make sure I'm not forgetting anything important.)

    5. I never finished my solar panel installation
    PLAN: Postpone until next spring.

    From reading lots of other posts I understand that cleaning water BEFORE closing is really important. However I'm very worried that I will spend all winter cleaning the pool (and worrying about freezing perhaps late November). I'd prefer getting everything done in the next week or two.

    Per sig I have 12'x24' AG in Seattle area. It will rain until May (with a few frosty clear days thrown in for fun). I'll start in on #1 now (and fixing my daughter's bicycle breaks). Let me know what you think. I'll post some photos once I'm past the fall pool closing panics.
    Thanks! ZephanS
    AG 12'x24'x54" "Diamond Star" (wilbar) bought 2007 from as kit with waterco 2hp (max) pump (too big+noisy) & WaterCo T450 150lb sand filter (filled w/ 75lbs zeobrite). Pool installed 2007. 160 sq ft solar array installed (2009) on custom metal deck roof (2008). Purchase, Site prep, & installation 100% DYI thanks to PF and TFP. Wrap-around deck, small swg, electrical upgrade, and 8' water slide still pending install.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    AnnaK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    I'll take a stab at some of your issues.

    1. The cherry tree
    Consider buying a PoolSkim. It's an excellent tool for removing leaves and surface debris. It's not too late in the season to pursue this. Yes, you can put a cover on but then you'll have to deal with getting the leaves off the cover w/o dumping them in the water.

    2.Green algae bloom
    Boy howdy! I feel like an expert on this one now. Bleach and brush. I use skimmer socks to help catch the live stuff. My bleach concentration is very high right now, I'm guessing between 15 and 20, and since the filter is on all this high concentration bleach water is going through the medium constantly and is killing whatever live algae got past the skimmer socks.

    Yes, you need clean water before you use an algaecide. I use polyquat 60 at the recommended dosage. It somewhat prevents an algae bloom but does not clean up existing algae. Bleach and brush. Vacuum if you can see the bottom.

    3. A good test kit
    A necessary expense. Mine only reads to 5 ppm FC which is useless when you're over-chlorinating. I also learned that the pH reading is invalidated by hiogh Cl concentrations and so, while mine reads above 8.2, it probably is not that at all. Follow through and buy the FAS-DPD kit. Dave says it stores well over winter, so just do it

    4. Closing
    I'm in Pennsylvania where the water will be frozen into a solid block by January. I superchlorinate up to 20 ppm (by my best guess, using Jason's Pool Calculator, add polyquat a day later, run the pump to mix it all in. Then I drain below skimmer and return (using the draining process to backwash and rinse the filter). We disconnect pump and drain filter, we disconnect all plumbing and tubing and whatnot and take the steps out - probably not necessary where you are. Then we walk away and miss the heck out of the pool until April.

    5. Solar Panels
    There's always next year.

    Don't panic over the closing. The worst that will happen is you'll have a ton of junk on the bottom and will spend some time scooping it out. And/or you'll get green algae. Bleach and brush. Had I mentioned that before? My first closing caused me some anxiety so I can relate but really, it's no big deal. By the time the sun comes out in the Spring it's like . . . where's my skimmer net? I want to go catch me some leaves!!!!


    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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