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Thread: Desperate for help...

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    Desperate for help...

    I started this thread over at pool wizard and thought I would get some help as I had a response rather quickly and then nothingness... Guys, I am totally new to this and my hubby is in Iraq and he used to take care of the pool... I am going to copy paste what I wrote over in the other post as it was kinda long...

    Hello everyone, I'm new here and have a few questions. (I have been reading but haven't found my answer yet)

    We have an above ground 18' x 4' deep metal frame intex pool it's 5000 gallons-ish I think. (we are military and that is about the best thing we can have)
    We had it up for most of the summer last year and I didn't have any issues with it. Left the water in for the "winter" (we are in florida) and then drained, scrubbed -with plain water- and refilled and shocked the pool.
    I have been testing the water with the little kit I picked up at walmart with the clorine and ph test in it. I was having a hard time keeping the clorine levels up but the ph was fine. So I super clorinated the pool (doubled the dose of clorine) I normally add and the very next day, it was GONE.
    I am now fighting this algae bloom/ cloudy water thing and I have a little one who wants to have a pool party for her birthday. I haven't checked the clorine lvls today as it is rainy and I don't want to take chances with the lightening...
    Everyday it seems the clorine doesn't want to stay in the pool and the ph is in the optimal range. -and now this cloudy water thing with a slight green tinge to it. Any help would be grately appreciative, the birthday party isnt until the 31st so I have a bit of time.


    P.S. I should say I tried algaecides and water clarifiers twice already and it hasn't changed anything in the pool.

    Alli~

    These are the results of the test the local pool store gave me;

    Total Chlorine - 0
    Free Chlorine - 0
    Combined Chlorine - 0
    Ph - 7.6
    Total Alkalinity - 120 ppm
    Calcium - 100 ppm
    Stabilizer - 10 ppm
    Total Dissolved Solids - 300 ppm
    Salt - 0

    They were guessing it was a 24,300 gallon pool which is totally wrong. It's closer to the 5000 gal range. (18' round, 4' deep -vinyl - I sent my teen instead of going myself -lesson learned )

    I typed the information into the pool calculator and this is what came up;

    I obviously need to increase the FC and the pool calculator is calling for 31 oz of 6% bleach (is chlorine the same measurement? I have some I would like to use up before switching to the bleach)

    I need to bring up the CH by adding 118 oz/95 oz of Calcium Cloride. (which is what exactly? and found where?)

    The CYA needs to come up with 20 oz/ 21 oz of stabilizer but is going to lower my Ph.. (so what would I use here?)

    There was no "borate" measurement so I am assuming that I wont need to worry about this?

    - the pool volume calculator is saying my pool is about 7600 gallons yet I am almost positive that the box read 5000 gallons. Which should I follow?

    Being a military wife and money being tight right now, what are your suggestions to get this cloudy, grey/green water in tip top shape on a dime?

    Your help is most appreciated~

    Alli~
    Intex vinyl 18' x 48 " AGP

    Learning the ropes so I can grow up and have my very own big kid pool! (IE -SUPER NOOB!)

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Welcome to TFP!

    If the water in the pool is really 18' across and 4' deep then it is right around 7600 gallons. Have you actually measured the pool? If so it is 7600 gallons. If not it would be a good idea to measure it.

    It is tricky to fight a serious case of algae with just a basic test kit. The OTO chlorine test, drops added to the sample turns various shades of yellow which are then compared to a color standard, measures total chlorine (TC). TC includes both free chlorine (FC) and combined chlorine (CC). Only FC is helping you fight algae. While you are fighting algae CC is likely to be above zero, which makes it difficult to guess what FC is given only TC.

    It would help tremendously if you could get a top quality test kit. The TF Test Kit, see the link in my signature, is a wonderful kit and the Taylor K-2006 is also good. A really good test kit can save you a lot of money on chemicals in the long run.

    Without a test kit that can measure FC you are stuck with dong some guess work and it is far more difficult to get reliable results. I really recommend the test kit, but if that is out of the question you could try the approach described in this thread. But I recommend getting the test kit. I have a through write up in this thread that will walk you through all the steps of fighting algae with a good test kit.

    Longer term you will want to raise your CYA/stabilizer level up to the 30 to 50 range. Aside from that and the algae your numbers are alright where they are.
    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: Desperate for help...

    Alli,

    Welcome to the forum. Before anyone makes this too complicated and you start getting overwhelmed by a bunch of things to fix in your pool.....chlorine or bleach will clear up your pool.

    1. Chlorinme and bleach are the same thing bleach is 6% chlorine...the other you have may be a different percentage but it's the same stuff.

    2. You must keep chlorine in your pool to keep your water clear and sanitary.

    3.. Chlorine is consumed by anything organic in your pool (like algae) and that's where most of your chlorine is going.

    4. The other thing that consumes chlorine is the Sun, unless the chlorine is protected by stabilizer at about 40-50ppm. Your stabilizer is 10ppm so not helping you much at all.

    So your Chlorine is getting totally eaten up each day by the algae in your pool and the Sun gets the rest of. Therefore, more algae can grow back and that cycle will never stop unless......

    A. you bring your chlorine up to about 20ppm and HOLD IT THERE until your pool is cleared up and

    B. You put enough stablizer in your pool to protect the chlorine from the sun.

    You can use the calculator to tell you how much of each to put in (your pool is 7,000 gallons) initially but then you'll need to get your water tested to calculate how much more chlorine to put back in to get it back up to 20ppm. You'll need to do this at least twice daily and your pool will clear up quickly.

    Disregard ALL the other test parameters (like pH, Alk, etc) until your pool is clear using the chlorine and adding CYA....we'll help you adjust everything else later. Don't buy ANYTHING ELSE....chlorine is what you need to clear your pool.

    Fire away with the questions

    PS - Jason is absolutely correct about the test kit but I hesitate to mention that because I sell one of the good ones.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Allie,

    You have a Private Message.

    Look in the upper right hand corner of this page and click where it says "you have one new message"

    Reply back to that message...not here on the forum.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Thank you, to you and your friend. You will both know to whom and what I am reffering.

    It is going to rain today and tomorrow here in Florida (yay me). However, I am going to go take the rest of the bottle of chlorine I have and dump it in the pool and run the filter (sans filter -that is what the pool store said- no filter til all algae is dead) until I hear thunder or see lightening (we have to plug ours into an outlet outside -military rules aren't the best- and when there is lightening we have to unplug it as one of the kids lost the special breaker it's supposed to plug into somewhere in the depths of the garage!).

    I know there was a box of chemicals that came with the pool, they are dry granular type stuff but I am sure there has to be some kind of stabilizer stuff in there... I will see if I can't locate some, what would it be called, or where might I buy some? Should I really buy that kind of stuff at walmart?

    Anyway, I will be glued to the computer tonight now that I have a response, so that I might get this fixed as fast as possible! Please post away I will be right here refreshing waiting for your words of wisdom!

    Alli~


    UPDATE:

    Ok what I added was;
    About 3 oz of Aqua Chem Algaecide 20%, its label said, Alkyl (C-14 50%, C12 40%, C16 10%) Dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride 20% other 80%)
    Aqua Chem Chlorine (dunno how much but it was about 3/4 gallon- It's label says- Sodium Hypochlorite 10%)
    the stabilizer was also chlorine and shock all in one, it read, (Sodium Dichloror-s-Triasinetrione Hydrated 99%, Other 1%, Available Chlorine 55.5%).
    I couldn't find the stupid thing I measure with so I put a pint mason jar full in the water, slowly being sure to stir it up so as not to burn the liner... It sure smells chlorine-ish now! I have my son out there stiring and stiring, and removed the filter which was not surprisingly nasty and full of the scrub oak pollen stringy things. It is running full force splashing the top of the water and making some nice ripples.

    Gawd I pray I didn't put anything in wrong or to much. I just wanted to kill the algae and get that chlorine up. I am keeping my fingers crossed that pool is ready for her birthday!

    Thank you for your help and advice. I will take some pool water back to the same store to be retested tomorrow. As for right now my little crappy test kit reads;

    CL way over 5.0 (the first drop made it turn neon yellow)
    BL 11.0 (not sure what that is)
    Ph 6.8 - 7.6 (it's kind of faint and I cant really tell what color it matches)

    So far so good?

    Alli~
    Intex vinyl 18' x 48 " AGP

    Learning the ropes so I can grow up and have my very own big kid pool! (IE -SUPER NOOB!)

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    Alli,

    The stabilizer is also called conditioner or, more correctly CYA (cyanuric acid) If you have some around it'll be fine to use. If you do not Kmart. Wal-mart Lowe's are all fine......there's no difference in the stuff and it's a little pricey. get enough to bring your pool up around 40ppm.

    It would be best if you'd hold off on the other stuff for now. Sam's Club or K'mart, Aldi's are good resources for 6% plain clorox....go ahead and stock up..20-30 gallons would be fine...it wopn't go to waste.

    Ignore the incredulous stares when you buy that much bleach. We've all been there.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    I'm curious if it wouldn't be more cost effective to go to my local pool store, (pinch-a-penny) they apparently sell 2.5 gallon chlorine for $2.50. Or is bleach the same price? I don't remember the last time I bought bleach - I got a huge thing from Sam's Club!

    Also the guy at the pool store said to be wary of buying to much at one time as it has a "shelf life" and looses strength after to long. (this was all over the phone right before I sent the teen over to take care of the first full water test. -I dunno how much smoke he was blowin ya know?)
    Intex vinyl 18' x 48 " AGP

    Learning the ropes so I can grow up and have my very own big kid pool! (IE -SUPER NOOB!)

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Guest
    There is nothing wrong with using liquid chlorine from a pool store like pinch a penny. Just remember that is is about twice as strong as bleach. Where are you in Florida? Here in the St. Auugustine area liiquid chlorine isaround $4 for a 2.5 gallon carboy!
    The pool store was corrct that liquid cloirne has a shelf life. So does bleach. The fact is, the stonger the concentration the faster it losses strength.Both bleach and liquid chlorine are Sodium Hypochlorite. Pool store clorine is most often 10-12.5% while laundry bleach is most often 5.35-6%. The stronger stuff will lose some strength after about 6 weeks and might only be around 8%,. It just means you need to use a bit more. THIS si why a good testkit is so important to have.
    Laundry bleach usually is good for about 6 months before it losses too much strength.
    This is assuming that either is kept out of sunight, high heat and kept capped.

    BTW, not ALL pool store guys are 'blowin' smoke'. Some of them are pretty good and don't try and rip you off. I even know of one who is a Moderator at Troublefreepool!

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    HAHA
    Sorry waterbear!! I didn't mean ALL pool guys are like that. I just didn't want to get sucked into that situation you know? Thank you for all the great information. I am up near Pensacola. Like I said when I called in to ask some questions he said they sell the 2.5 gal for 2.50. I was kinda shocked by that as well! -Thought, dang! That sounds like a deal! But I wanted to make sure it was worth it and if it was just as good as (or the same) as what I was already getting... OH! AND thanks for letting me know about know about the heat kills chlorine thing.. I was keeping it in the 800 degree garage, but it will now be kept in the air conditioned laundry room!

    Alli~

    Uhh also, it has started to lightening here and I had to unplug the filter which was circulating the water, will my liner be ok with all that chlorine just sitting there?
    Intex vinyl 18' x 48 " AGP

    Learning the ropes so I can grow up and have my very own big kid pool! (IE -SUPER NOOB!)

  10. Back To Top    #10
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    As long as you didn't OVERDOSE then yo are fine. I will give you one caution about the liquid chlorine. You usually have to buy the carboy. After that the refills are at the cheaper price. However, it's still othen a better deal than bleach. Where I work we sell the carboys for $5.39 and the chlorine for $3.99. After that you just bring the empty back and get a full one for $3.99.
    Ak him what strength or percentage it is. If it is between 10 and 12.5% it s a great deal. Some places sell 6% which is the same as ultra laundry bleach. In that case it's not as great but still might be cheaper than bleach in your area.

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    uh, carboys?

    I have been thinking about it.. I am pretty sure I overdosed the pool on chlorine.. But then I have never had to get it up to 20 ppm before, so maybe its not that bad? I think the granules I was only supposed to use 4 oz of it for a 10000 gal pool. (mine is 7600 according to the size calc on this site) I used a pint mason jar cause it was available and I wouldn't use it for anything else. Plus the 3/4 gal of plain chlorine... I wonder if I should look for huge hole tomorrow!!??
    -But then doesnt rain cause more algae issues? Maybe the extra chlorine will be ok anyway? Ugh .
    Intex vinyl 18' x 48 " AGP

    Learning the ropes so I can grow up and have my very own big kid pool! (IE -SUPER NOOB!)

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Hi Alli,

    I am also a rookie at the pool stuff! But I can tell you for sure that you have come to the right place. These people know their stuff!

    Ive lurked around the forums for quite awhile and just recently registered. Ive read several "stories" about people having a tough time with the green pools. I have yet to read about someone that couldnt be helped... but on every occassion, the pool owner has always needed to be able and measure high levels of chlorine. (because thats what it takes to get your pool to sparkle again.) If your test kit only goes up to 3 or 5, you will certainly need to start looking into getting a better one. Personally, I got the TF test kit from Dave aka Duraleigh and had it the day after I ordered it. (granted we live in the same state.) The reason I had to get the test kit is because the kit that I had previously only went up to 5 or 6 and anything over those parameters is impossible to pinpoint also my old kit wasnt nearly as accurate as the TF test kit.

    Hang in there! These guys will help you out!
    18x33 agp. 1 1/2 hp pump with sand filter.
    AKA pool noob.

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Rockcrawler's Avatar
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    Thank your Husband for his service to this great country.

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    13,000 IG Plaster, 2hp whisperflo pump, 48 sq in pentair DE Filter, 1 skimmer, 2 eyeball outlets, 200 sq ft solar panels on second story, Auto Pilot SWG-36, Polaris ATV Cleaner

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    You know I didnt think about this before... I have a fish tank testing kit.. would that work on the pool readings too? I mean as far as chlorine goes?
    Either way I am going to take a sample to the pool store tomorrow morning to have the full test done until I get my test kit in the mail.

    Thank you Rockcrawler, you have no idea how much that is needed and appreciated right now!
    Intex vinyl 18' x 48 " AGP

    Learning the ropes so I can grow up and have my very own big kid pool! (IE -SUPER NOOB!)

  15. Back To Top    #15
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Here are a little background info:

    *Aqua Chem Algaecide 20% - essentially useless, might have annoying side effects.
    *Aqua Chem Chlorine - good, the same as bleach only stronger, 10% instead of 6%
    *Sodium Dichloror-s-Triasinetrione Hydrated 99% - we call this dichlor, contains both chlorine and CYA and lowers PH, not a good choice unless you want all three of those effects.

    The chlorine smell is really combined chlorine (CC), an intermediate breakdown product that forms as chlorine breaks down algae (and other organics). Ideally you want CC to be zero and no obvious smell, but it is often unavoidable while you are fighting algae.
    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

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Welcome aboard Alli,

    As you have aleady noticed, this forum is very unique and very warm .

    I,m no guru but a word of caution on storing your chlorine in air conditioned room. Make sure it is well ventilated. Nobody want to inhale too much of that and it certainly promote rust with most metal receiving that smell.
    8,000 gal IG concrete & tiled lap pool, 1/2 hp pump, 24" sand filter, SWG Auto Clean, whole pool under shed, 3 X 2ft waterfall one end overflow the other end. TF100 Testkit. 80 F Water whole year round.

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Thanks Jason. That was really helpful! It is all falling into place and starting to make sense. The only reason I used the Dichlor was to raise the CYA lvls.. It just so happened that it was shock and chlorine also. I didnt pay attention to that fact til I had already dumped the strait chlorine in. DUH read first dump second.. Thanks for letting me know about the algaecide. I really thought it was gonna help kill off that algae bloom .

    Thanks Vincent. I didnt know that the fumes could cause rust and the like on the washer/dryer. I am gonna have to think about where to store the chemicals now as the garage gets ungodly hot and the house doesnt have much for storage... and its probably not gonna be a wise idea to keep it outside either..

    I so cant wait to buy my own house! Military housing is difficult at best...

    Thank you thank you thank you for all the help and advice. *keeping my fingers crossed that by some miracle I can see a little clearing in the pool by morning!*
    Intex vinyl 18' x 48 " AGP

    Learning the ropes so I can grow up and have my very own big kid pool! (IE -SUPER NOOB!)

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Welcome Alli,


    Intex has your pool listed as 6423 gallons, with 18' diameter pool puts you around 40"/3.3 ft of water in your pool.
    18' Intex Ultra Frame, Hayward Power Flo Matrix 2 Speed 1 HP pump, Hayward Star Clear C-500 w/81 SqFt cart.

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Sissy, My son graduated BCT (Army) a couple months ago, What branch is your husband in? And DO thank him for his service.
    27' Round AG, 17,200 gallons, sand filter

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Poolidiot,
    My husband is in the Air Force, and thank you for the support, it's much appreciated. Please tell your son to stay safe, and God Bless him for his service and soon to be sacrifice. Lord knows they are trying to send everyone over as fast and as much as possible. Glad we only have 6 more years left of this.


    Ok so, took the water back to the same pool store today, this is their new readings;

    TC - 0
    FC - 0
    CC - 0
    pH - 7.2
    TA - 150 ppm
    CH - 135 ppm
    CYA - 0 ppm
    Total disolved solids - 300 ppm

    So since the last test at the same store my resutls have changed, just dont know if its for the better?

    pH has gone down from 7.6 - 7.2
    TA has gone up from 120 - 150
    CH has gone up from 100 - 135
    CYA has gone down from 100 - 0

    How could that be after I added all that mess yesterday!?

    While I was at the exchange a lil green bottle caught my eye (and its a good thing) it was a bottle of stabilizer label reads CYA 100%.. I am gonna type the info into the pool calc on this site and dump in what it says also I am going to use another gallon of the Aqua Chem Chlorine I have.. after that I am gonna switch to what they sell at the pool store so cheap.. While I was there (never been to a pool store before) there was a guy filling up containers of what I thought smelled like chlorine.. is this what they are speaking of -carboys? You take it back and have it refilled? That would be a beautiful thing!! Oh yeah. I am now ~officially~ in love with the pool store.. there are so many neat things that I just have to have!

    Ok, anymore advice on this pool? And is there any certain way to add the CYA into the pool? Disolve it first or just dump and stir? It says to put it in the filter but I dont have a normal filter.. I will just go take pictures and post in a moment...

    Alli~
    Intex vinyl 18' x 48 " AGP

    Learning the ropes so I can grow up and have my very own big kid pool! (IE -SUPER NOOB!)

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