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Thread: Green/Cloudy Water - Even the frogs are scared of my pool!

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    Green/Cloudy Water - Even the frogs are scared of my pool!

    I am a new pool owner with a 11,000 gallon in-ground plaster pool and a 1 year old sand filter. We have had this house/pool for 2 years now, and though we've never been able to really keep it clear, this year it's at it's absolute worse. (See attached pic)

    The pool water is very green and cloudy and has been for several weeks. This weekend, at the advice of a local pool store because of high CYA levels, I drained 1/2 of the water, refilled, scrubbed and vacuumed to waste. The water was better, but the next day I had a fine powder of algae on the walls and bottom (recurring problem), and 2 days later it was totally green and very cloudy.

    Yesterday I went to Leslie's and they gave me a bottle of Black Algae Killer and I put in 10oz. and 1lb of shock. No change today. Now I think this was not the right thing to do because it’s copper-based?. I don't know, but if anything it's worse. I've had the pump/filter running 24/7 for 2 days now.

    I've been reading a lot on this forum today and have already learned so much - I think I'm ready to go the BBB route and get this problem cleared up. I just ordered a TF-100 test kit from Dave (who was VERY helpful over the phone) and am looking forward to getting started as soon as it arrives.

    Here are my levels from the pool store on Sunday, after the refill:
    FC=3.0
    TC=3.0
    CC=0.0
    PH=7.0
    AK=110
    CYA=80

    Here is what I could measure today with my old kit:
    FC=3.0
    TC=3.0
    PH=7.4
    AK=120

    Any advice and direction would be appreciated for this weekend's "Big Cleanup". I am looking forward to becoming a part of this forum and understanding what's going on out in the backyard

    Thanks so much,
    Mike - Austin, TX
    Attached Images Attached Images
    11,000gal, in-ground, concrete, sand filter, 3/4 HP pump, TF-100 Test Kit, Austin Texas

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    You can look at this write up for detailed advice on fighting algae. With CYA at 80 it is going to take FC levels around 21 to kill off the algae, ie lots and lots of chlorine.
    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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    One word: BLEACH. Lots and lots.

    If I understand correctly, you are going to tackle the algae this weekend. That is a good idea since you will have to add bleach (chlorine) several times a day to totally kill it, keeping the FC (free chlorine) at shock level and with your CYA at 80, that means 21 ppm. You might consider another half drain and refill before you tackle this to bring your CYA level down to a more easily manageable level.

    That's basically it, lots of bleach, testing, brushing, vacuuming to waste, pump running 24/7. It's very do-able.

    See JasonLion's "sticky" on clearing up a green pool if you haven't yet.

    PS: Leslie's may have liquid chlorine (AKA liquid shock) at 10.5% which may be a better value than regular bleach (@ 6%) you'll just have to run the numbers and see.
    11,000 gal. gunite w/midnight blue and white pearl PebbleTec
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    I am fairly new to this site as well, but just a word of encouragement.... about 10 days ago, my pool was like yours (only greener, I think) Do what they tell you... it really works! Just buy LOTS of bleach. I kept running out and going back for more. I had someone visiting today who was asking how I got the water looking so good... if only they knew what I started with!

    Looking forward to the "after" pictures!

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    Since my wife is home tomorrow, but we won't have the test kit until Friday, is it advisable to start the bleach treatment tomorrow morning? (would be nice to swim this weekend

    I've done the calculations with the pool calculator and it looks like it's going to take 4.3 jugs of bleach to get us to the 21ppm shock level. I read in the sticky that if you don't have the proper test kit, you can eyeball it - for example, if after an hour the water is still green, assume FC is at zero and add another 4.3 jugs of bleach. Continue this, every hour, until the water starts to turn grey/milky, indicating dying algae.

    At that point, without the benefit of the test kit I'm wondering how to proceed for the rest of the day - I assume I'm not going to have to dump in 4 jugs of bleach every hour all day long?

    I have also read that you want to hit the algae hard and stay on it or lose all of your progress - so is it advisable to start this process as described above tomorrow in hopes of swimming this weekend, or wait for the test kit and start out with accurate readings?

    Thanks - Mike
    11,000gal, in-ground, concrete, sand filter, 3/4 HP pump, TF-100 Test Kit, Austin Texas

  6. Back To Top    #6
    What sort of test kit do you have leftover? it is possible to use an OTO test to get started. Use the dilution method. It is not very accurate, but it will get you through a day or so.

    Mix 1 part pool water, 2 parts distilled (or other chlorine free) water. fill test vial with this water, test as usual, and multiply your results by 3.

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chappy
    Since my wife is home tomorrow, but we won't have the test kit until Friday, is it advisable to start the bleach treatment tomorrow morning? (would be nice to swim this weekend
    I am new to the BBB method, but from my short experience so far, I would say to go ahead and start. I started the bleach before my test kit arrived also. I would pour a couple of jugs at a time. I could tell a noticeable difference each time I added bleach, so it was very encouraging. After a couple of days the test kit came and then I could check all the levels... but the bleach really helped to start getting the water cleaned up.

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    One more question - does it matter what kind of algae is present? I have reason to believe it's Mustard Algae - it's dusty and clings to the vertical walls of the pool and collects in dirt-like clumps on the bottom of the pool daily. If that is the case, am I still shooting for a 21ppm FC value, or do I need to boost that up?

    Thanks - I've learned more about my pool in the last 24 hours than the last 2 years!
    11,000gal, in-ground, concrete, sand filter, 3/4 HP pump, TF-100 Test Kit, Austin Texas

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    Hey, Chappy,

    Welcome! I hope you've got a valid tracking # and delivery date in your possession. Your kit did ship last night but it got caught up in a big shipping mess that I'd love to blame on DHL but was my fault for not watching the label printer more carefully..(http://www.troublefreepools.com/viewtopic.php?t=6112)

    As we discussed, this forum is THE place to be for assistance in clearing a green pool. Be sure to read "ABC's of pool water chemistry" and Jason's great article on "Clearing a green swamp". (I paraphrased that)
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Mustard algae often requires longer periods at higher FC levels, but I think that it is unlikely that you have mustard algae. Give it a try at normal shock levels first.
    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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    Update.

    Since I won't be getting my test kit for the weekend - thanks for trying Dave - I wanted to know if what I've done and what I want to continue to do this weekend sounds like a good plan of action.

    Starting yesterday (using the pool calculator) we added the shock amount of bleach 4X throughout the day. Roughly 411oz each time. Brushed several times as well.

    Woke up this morning and I'd say the water is 30% less green. (see attached image). So far, I've added the same shock amount of bleach 2X today, and will hit it again when I get home from work, and then again later in the evening. I just brushed the walls as well, and there is still a good amount of algae to brush around... don't know if it's dead or alive though.

    Since I won't be able to monitor the exact FC levels throughout the day tomorrow, does what I'm doing seem like a reasonable approach? I am starting to see some results. (it's hard not to want to wake up to an instantly crystal clear pool though!)

    Also, should I also be vacuuming the pool floor? If so, to waste or through the filter?

    Thanks everyone!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    11,000gal, in-ground, concrete, sand filter, 3/4 HP pump, TF-100 Test Kit, Austin Texas

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chappy
    Update.

    Since I won't be getting my test kit for the weekend - thanks for trying Dave - I wanted to know if what I've done and what I want to continue to do this weekend sounds like a good plan of action.

    Starting yesterday (using the pool calculator) we added the shock amount of bleach 4X throughout the day. Roughly 411oz each time. Brushed several times as well.

    Woke up this morning and I'd say the water is 30% less green. (see attached image). So far, I've added the same shock amount of bleach 2X today, and will hit it again when I get home from work, and then again later in the evening. I just brushed the walls as well, and there is still a good amount of algae to brush around... don't know if it's dead or alive though.

    Since I won't be able to monitor the exact FC levels throughout the day tomorrow, does what I'm doing seem like a reasonable approach? I am starting to see some results. (it's hard not to want to wake up to an instantly crystal clear pool though!)

    Also, should I also be vacuuming the pool floor? If so, to waste or through the filter?

    Thanks everyone!
    Chappy,

    Nice work to this point. Your FC may be getting a little high but, because you have a plaster pool surface, you have no problems.

    That said, I think I'd slow down on the Cl just a bit. perhaps 2 - 1.42 gallon jugs each evening until the kit is in your possession. Nevertheless, you had a TON of algae in that pool and it's gonna' take plenty of clorox to clean it up.

    Yes, keep brushing, run your pump 24/7 and vacuuming to waste is good but it usually takes a HUGE amount of water so you can do it in the filter position....you'll just have to backwash more frequently.

    Take a big dose of POP (pool owner patience) over the weekend. This process takes a few days and it seems like you can't rush it.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Wow.

    Day 3 and what a difference! It's actually blue. Still cloudy, but blue. I can't believe it.

    I know there's posts in here that relate to maintenance levels of FC, etc. so I'll start digging. I'll post some numbers on Monday when my test kit arrives and get some advice for moving forward.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    11,000gal, in-ground, concrete, sand filter, 3/4 HP pump, TF-100 Test Kit, Austin Texas

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Great job, Chappy You're almost done!

    Very nice pic comparison!

    You can find the maintenance level FC w/CYA chart in the "stickies" located at the top of each page in the sub-heading. Also link in my sig.

    Congratulations!

    oh, and Welcome to the forum
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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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    Chappy,

    What a great set of pictures!! Yours is probably the most dramatic set of algae fighting pictures that I have seen - I love the horizontal format that you used for the daily comparison photographs.

    Can you keep taking daily pictures so we can see the progress as the blue cloudiness transforms in clear sparkling water?

    Titanium
    24,000 gallon inground freeform pool/spa circa 1983 (113 ft perimeter, 625 sq ft) with 350 gallon attached spill-over spa
    2007 2 HP, three-phase Hayward TriStar pump which is powered by an Ikeric VS-200 variable speed drive system
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    Just got my TF-100 test kit today, here are the first set of results:
    FC=25
    CC=0
    TC=25
    PH=7.2
    TA=170
    CH=370
    CYA=90

    Couple of questions:
    1. How long before the FC level drops to a "maintenance level" - a few days? Should I leave it alone until then, meaning do not add any more bleach?

    2. Is my Calcium Hardness number pretty high - and might that account for the cloudy water at this point?

    I just look out back and have to smile lately, can't believe the pool is actually blue... now if we can get it crystal clear... that would be something!
    11,000gal, in-ground, concrete, sand filter, 3/4 HP pump, TF-100 Test Kit, Austin Texas

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    Hey, Chappy,

    pretty nice work but I suspect you're not quite done....

    The process is complete when:
    A. You hold FC loss to 1.0 or less overnite
    B. Your CC's test .5 or less
    C. Your water is sparkling

    You've got B. but apparently not C. and I suspect you will not quite be able to get A., either

    Test your FC tonight when the sun is off the pool and then test once more in the morning before the sun hits the pool. If the difference in FC is greater than 1.0, you've got some more work to do.

    Unfortunately, that's the good news. You're CYA is too high. Up in the 90's like you are, you should really bring the FC up to around 35 or so and hold it there until your pool sparkles. Then, as you let it come back down to maintenance level, it needs to stay in the 9-13ppm range.

    I would suggest you drain and refill some of your pool and get your CYA down to around 50 or so. Everything will get easier from there and your pool problems will be solved. High CYA levels require very high chlorine levels and, while manageable, just seem to cause more trouble than it's worth. Bringing down the CYA makes the whole pool maintenance a little easier.

    Let us know your decision on that and then folks will advise you on the best route to take. Your other numbers require no immediate attention so make the CYA decision first.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Dave, as you suspected, I was not able to hold the 1.0 ppm drop overnight. My FC levels were 22.5 the late evening, and 17.5 this morning.

    One thing I need to understand though - is it possible that when I was putting boat loads of bleach in the pool on Friday/Saturday I sustained a high enough level to kill off all the algae? I don't see any at this time. Or should I just assume that I've done a bit of good work, but to be sure I kill off everything I need to reach that magic holding point that you described?

    I did drain off about 40-50% of the water a week or so ago to bring my CYA levels down - how much do you think I'd have to drain tonight to get me to the 50% CYA range? I'd just hate to see my water bill if I have to drain off that much more again. (but I understand your concerns about fighting an uphill battle the rest of the summer with that high a level)

    Assuming I went that route - are these my steps - I'm hoping I know a little more than I did a week ago
    1. Drain and refill
    2. Adjust PH
    3. Bring water to shock level for my new CYA level and hold it within a 1.0ppm loss overnight?
    4. Watch my pool sparkle
    11,000gal, in-ground, concrete, sand filter, 3/4 HP pump, TF-100 Test Kit, Austin Texas

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    You would need to drain roughly 40% of your water to get CYA down to 50 but you'll never regret it.

    Your 4 step success program is perfect.....I especially like #4.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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  20. Back To Top    #20
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    Great work Chappy!

    Like the photos!

    Keep up the good work!
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