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Thread: Newbie needs help

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Newbie needs help

    First off let me tell you this site is fantastic! This is one of the few forums where people get good consistent answers.

    I bought my house with this pool about 3 years ago and at the time the pool was about 4 years old. The previous owner hired some lame company to do his chemicals and they had no idea what they were doing. During the second month I owned the pool the chemical people came out and said that they would not service the pool anymore until I drained some of the water because they were dumping so much chlorine in the that something must be wrong. They couldn't explain to me what was causing the problem. I didn't have them come back again. I then took on the challenge of keeping up the pool myself with a cheap test kit. Everything seemed to be okay until this year. After not paying enough attention to the pool during the winter (if you call it a winter since I live in Tucson), I have been battling a black alge problem. After reading this forum, and realizing that my pool was eating chlorine like a fat american at a chinese buffet I decided to drain 3/4 of my approximate 14,000 gallon pool. I received my TF-100 kit today and have some interesting results.

    FC=1
    CC=0
    TC=1 (.5 with the quick test)
    PH=7.8
    T/A=130
    CH=300
    CYA=90
    Temp=78

    I tested the CH of my tap water and it was only at 100. I added 15 floz of muriatic acid to lower the ph and 3 oz of 60% chem-tek shock quick. I'll check the readings again tomorrow and post.

    My major concern is that the CYA is pretty high for having drained 3/4 of the pool and I am concerned that in no time it will start eating chorine again.

    Could the high CH reading be due to the plaster in my pool breaking down? It is at the end of its life expectancy and with the previous owners ineptitude it may be beyond repair. I am currently getting quotes to refinish the pool with pebble-tec to help with the maintaince hassles.

    What is the best way to combat the black algae problem with these results?
    ~25000 gallon free-form in-ground plaster pool located in Tucson in full sun
    TFT-100 Test Kit
    Hayward DE4820 filter
    Caretaker system
    Hayward 1 1/2 HP Super Pump

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    CH is just fine where it is. I would not call 300 high. The traditional recommendation for CH is between 200 and 400.

    Black algae requires extremely high chlorine levels and quite a bit of time to fight. Getting rid of black algae is one of the most difficult things to do. Are you sure it is really black algae?

    If you have black algae you are going to need to bring the FC level up to about 50 and hold it there with frequent testing and addition of chlorine and brush the algae patches many times a day for a number of days.

    CYA around 90 is just barely livable, but as you can see it requires immense amounts of chlorine to fight algae. Lowering the CYA level further first would simplify things.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3
    whoozer's Avatar
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    Ok- Your CH should be ok it still is within range. Kind of in the middle. I know plaster pools can cause issues but I would expect to see much different CH numbers if it were. Your ph is a little high as well as your CYA but both aren't horrible. Still don't seem to have alot of chlorine in there. Are you using BBB? Or just pool store stuff cuz I think it needs more chlorine. Make sure you are also scrubbing the sides of the pool once you add more to bring your TC up. Hope this helps. Post your new results tomorrow.

    EDIT- Thanks Jason I was giving my minor knowledge stab at it. Glad you chimed in. Whew he's quick
    14x33 fiberglass freeform
    Variable speed Pentair intelliflo superpump
    420 Clean and Clear Plus cartridge filter.
    pool-school/pool_calculator , http://www.tftestkits.net/

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Hi bhodge and welcome.

    Wow, a 3/4 drain and still CYA 90! It really was hungry wasn't it!

    We're glad to have you. Keep us updated!

    When you get time, please post a pic!
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    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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    I will be switching to the BBB method as of today. I had one bag of shock left so I figured I'd dump that in to at least get some chlorine in the pool.

    Here are my results from today.

    FC=1.5
    CC=1
    TC=2.5
    ph=7.5 (yeh!)
    T/A=140
    CH=300
    CYA=90
    Temp=74 (cold last night)

    I have been brushing every day, unfortunatley with work its hard to get mutliple brushing in. The algae is definitley black color and growing only on the sides of the pool in little circles. I will be getting some bleach today and will dump a bunch in to raise the chlorine as high as possible. I will be going out of town this week so now would be a perfect time for a super dose of chlorine.
    ~25000 gallon free-form in-ground plaster pool located in Tucson in full sun
    TFT-100 Test Kit
    Hayward DE4820 filter
    Caretaker system
    Hayward 1 1/2 HP Super Pump

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Remember, you have to hold your chlorine at shock levels for several days for it to be as effective as possible. If you are going out of town and you have no one to add bleach for you, I would suggest wait till you return and can attend to the pool morning and night to get it cleared up.
    20x40 30,000 gal IG Liner, Pentair II Sand

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    okay, back from vacation. I drained another 3/4 of the pool and have gotten the CYA down to 50! The past two days while the pool has been filling up I've been keeping the pool super chlorinated with bleach.

    Current readings for 6/6/08

    FC=22
    CC=.5
    TC=22.5
    ph=8.2
    CYA=90

    Readings for 6/7/08
    FC=15
    CC=0
    TC=15
    ph=7.5

    I added some acid cause I have some left on 6/6 to lower it to 7.5. I added two more 174 oz bottles of bleach and will continue to maintain until the level remains the same overnight.

    The pool just finished filling enough so I could recharge the DE filter and it is running as we speak. I've been brushing a couple times a day and will continue to maintain the chlorine levels above 15ppm. I can already notice a difference in the black algae. Keeping it out of the water for a couple of days definetly killed anything above the water line. I also poured bleach down the sides of the pool while it was filling which also seems to have helped.

    Should I run the filter continuously for the next couple days? Any other suggestions?
    ~25000 gallon free-form in-ground plaster pool located in Tucson in full sun
    TFT-100 Test Kit
    Hayward DE4820 filter
    Caretaker system
    Hayward 1 1/2 HP Super Pump

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Considering your high CYA levels, 15ppm is not sufficient to kill black algae. First of all, black algae is probably the nastiest, most resistant thing you can get in a pool. Second, the CYA binds up lots of the chlorine effectively reducing the amount of FC to kill stuff.

    I would say you need to get your FC to at least 50ppm. Also, black algae tend to form dense patches on walls and surfaces, and you MUST brush them a LOT to get the dead stuff off the surface so the chlorine can get to the lower down stuff.

    I had green algae and no CYA and kept 30 ppm chlorine in my pool for a week or so. Green algae is MUCH easier to kill than black. You need to hit it much harder.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Matt, he stated above he lowered his CYA to 50. That's pretty normal.

    I agree, black algea is tough to kill and you do need to keep brushing it, but 50ppm seems high for a CYA of 50.
    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

  10. Back To Top    #10
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    I read a bit on Black Algea, and it forms a tough outer "shell" that is resistant to chlorine and thus necessitates constant brushing.

    Be sure you check the CYA/Best guess chart for shocking and black algea dosing.
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    So I stumbled across the CYA/best guess chart once but can't seem to find it again. Anyone have a link?

    I've been keeping the pool between 32-35 ppm most of yesterday and today. It dropped 8 ppm overnight so it is still thirsty! I've spent $60 in chlorine in 2 days, haven't seen the cost savings benefit in the BBB method yet. I think the people at Walmart think I'm starting a Meth lab with all the bleach I'm buying, especially in Tucson which has a pretty bad meth problem.
    ~25000 gallon free-form in-ground plaster pool located in Tucson in full sun
    TFT-100 Test Kit
    Hayward DE4820 filter
    Caretaker system
    Hayward 1 1/2 HP Super Pump

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by bhodge
    So I stumbled across the CYA/best guess chart once but can't seem to find it again. Anyone have a link?
    Here are a couple:

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/sticky.php?s=2346

    http://www.poolforum.com/pf2/showthread.php?t=365
    27ft Above Ground Pool, 52" walls, vinyl liner
    1hp Pentair pump system
    22.5" Pentair sand filter
    BBB is stocked up!!
    TF-100 test kit

  13. Back To Top    #13
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    You can also use my Pool Calculator to find the correct FC levels for your CYA level. Enter your CYA level in the Now column and look at the blue Suggested FC levels section towards the bottom.
    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

  14. Back To Top    #14
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    The high CYA means more bleach than normal which means more money. If you can lower the CYA and get that in the normal range, you will save money in the long run. Avoiding an algea bloom also will save money in the long run because you won't have to treat it again.... it's worth it, just have some POP.
    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

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Low CYA = lots of chlorine loss = more money spent on bleach.
    High CYA = need for lots of chlorine = more money spent on bleach

    Basically, try to get into the desired range. It has diminishing returns after a point (although some members have reported higher points for this... I am not sure why).

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    When its really hot and the pool gets a lot of direct sunlight, like here in Tucson, I thought the normal range for CYA was 40-60? I emptied 3/4 of the pool twice in two weeks and was only able to get it to 50. I didn't have the test kit the first time I emptied I just saw how much chlorine it was eating and figured it must be high so I drained 3/4 of the pool. After that drain, I got my test kit and it was still at 90 so a week later I drained another 3/4 of the pool to get it to 50.

    The black algae was pretty bad so I am assuming that once I get that killed off I won't have to add so much chlorine.

    By the way, the pool looks amazing right now, the walls are increadibly white and there are only a few tough algae spots left. I would say I've knocked out about 75% of it. I'll just keep super chlorinating until it stabilized overnight and then see how much I have to add to keep it at 5 ppm. If it is a lot, I'll do another drain and start fresh with lots of chlorine. I will never let it get out of control again!
    ~25000 gallon free-form in-ground plaster pool located in Tucson in full sun
    TFT-100 Test Kit
    Hayward DE4820 filter
    Caretaker system
    Hayward 1 1/2 HP Super Pump

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    okay, just rechecked CYA and two tests averaged out to be about 30! Don't know how it went down, but it did. Getting better...
    ~25000 gallon free-form in-ground plaster pool located in Tucson in full sun
    TFT-100 Test Kit
    Hayward DE4820 filter
    Caretaker system
    Hayward 1 1/2 HP Super Pump

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    OKay here are todays results.

    FC=16
    CC=0
    ph=7.2 (I read to lower it to help kill algae)
    T/A=120
    CH=150
    CYA=30
    Temp=80

    When I left this morning for work the FC=34. It dropped that much in 9 hours. I added another 4 - 174 oz jugs to raise it to 40 according to the pool calculator and so now I have officially dumped 33 - 174 oz bleach bottles in over the past 4 days and can't get it to stabilize. There are many, many fine white particles floating around the pool. Is that the dead algae?

    Help, I am going broke!
    ~25000 gallon free-form in-ground plaster pool located in Tucson in full sun
    TFT-100 Test Kit
    Hayward DE4820 filter
    Caretaker system
    Hayward 1 1/2 HP Super Pump

  19. Back To Top    #19
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhodge
    OKay here are todays results.

    FC=16
    CC=0
    ph=7.2 (I read to lower it to help kill algae)
    T/A=120
    CH=150
    CYA=30
    Temp=80

    When I left this morning for work the FC=34. It dropped that much in 9 hours. I added another 4 - 174 oz jugs to raise it to 40 according to the pool calculator and so now I have officially dumped 33 - 174 oz bleach bottles in over the past 4 days and can't get it to stabilize. There are many, many fine white particles floating around the pool. Is that the dead algae?

    Help, I am going broke!
    Okay, if your CYA is 30, then your shock level is now approx. 12 ppm, with 18ppm for the Yel/mustard shock.

    You don't need to bump it to 40. Keep it at the high end, 18 until the number holds for 24 hours. keep brushing the suspect spots.

    Edit - Keep running the filter. The floating stuff could be dead algea, pollen, it's hard to say. Your numbers look good! POP and a deep breath....I think you are in the home stretch.

    No more mega doses...you don't want to go broke, or bleach out your liner. - End Edit
    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

  20. Back To Top    #20
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    There is no way that the CYA level fell from 90 to 30, so what is going on with that?

    You should expect FC to fall during the day. The key test is does FC stay the same 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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