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Thread: OK, here's my swamp!

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    OK, here's my swamp!

    Attached is a picture of my 18' round Intex. Last summer was my first ever with a pool, and I successfully used BBB. This is my first pool opening, and my first pool problem. As you can see, I've got a mess.

    On 5/26, I gave it a several massive doses of 12.5%. I am a pressure cleaning contractor, and I buy it by the drum. With that much on hand, I was very generous. Since then, it has gotten more heavy doses of bleach. I'm guessing I've used about 15 gallons over 4 days. The only testing method I have is a Wal-mart special, and when I add the first drop of chemical, the sample turns red. I guess I am probably at shock level. I also have some test strips on hand, and in reference to my pH, it says "Purple color indicates excessive sanitizer." I'm gonna have to add some water, so hopefully the excess bleach won't be a problem.

    I have had the pump running 24/7, and I have been vacuuming when I have time. It has turned from dark green to a greenish/gray color. I am having to change the cartridge about every 4 hours, or whenever I notice a drop in the flow. I have been rinsing the previous cartridge with a garden hose, and then putting it back in service 4 hrs. later. There is definitely no shortage of gunk in the filter. I guess it's dead algae? Would a clarifier help any?

    The water definitely looks better than it did a few days ago, but it's far from clean. I can only see about 6 inches into the water. I was hoping for better with as much bleach as I used. It looks like I have a long road ahead, but I AM NOT DRAINING THIS SUCKER!!!! I am determined to use the info I have am gathering here to successfully turn this pool around. I will be documenting my progress with daily pictures. Hopefully, I can give people some hope for turning their pools around.

    To help me along, I ordered a real test kit this morning. I opted for the Taylor 2006. Obviously, just dumping bleach hasn't gotten me very far. With water this nasty, how accurate will my results actually be? Also, what should I try to establish first? TA? pH? Or, should I just keep it at shock level and let it clear before I try to stabilize other readings?
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    18' round Intex using BBB

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    Re: OK, here's my swamp!

    Chris, you're on the right track. It sounds like you may have overdosed on the bleach a little but that's in the past and apparently no harm. Your kit is gonna be the best thing you could've done. When you get it, post up your numbers for all the tests in the kit and we can help you get that pool sparkling.

    Yes, that's dead algae in your pool and you have a ton of it. You must continue to add bleach (it'll be better adding it in the evening, I dont think you have any CYA) Don't be too surprised if all that Chlorine is consumed by now and you need to add some more.

    Read the stickies at the top of these forums and it will help you gain an understanding of what's going on in your pool.

    So, 'til you get your kit and can post us some numbers, keep testing for chlorine and try to keep it around 15ppm, adding it primarily at night. Keep your pump running 24/7 and you'll have to clean that filter often. You've still got some dead algae to get out.

    I NEVER SHOUT BUT YOU DO NOT NEED TO BUY ANYTHING!! Chlorine will clear your pool. You may need to get some other stuff when you post up your numbers but we'll see. I wouldn't waste money on clarifier.

    Your current kit will test pH...what is it?
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: OK, here's my swamp!

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh

    Your current kit will test pH...what is it?
    8+
    18' round Intex using BBB

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    Chris,

    download bleachcalc from this forum...it'll calc acid for you, too. Then, stop by HD/Lowe's and get some muriatic acid. Add enough to get your pool down to around 7.2 ....that'll make your chlorine more effective. I'd do this sooner rather than later.

    You'll need at least 2 quarts, maybe more depending on how much above 8.0 you really are. I'd add 2 qts and test in an hour, then add however much more you need to get to 7.2
    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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    You should also be brushing and dredging out any leaves or other debris that you can. Vacuming blind won't be perfect but it can still help a lot. Once the algae is dead it can still take several days for the filter to get the water clear. It sounds like you are on the right track, it just takes a while.

    You can dilute your pool water with distilled water and then try doing the chlorine test. If you put in three parts of distiled water and one part of pool water you then multiply the level the test gives by four to get the true level.

    Good Luck!
    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

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Mix 1 part pool water with 3 parts distilled water (a shot glass works well) and test that mixture. Multiply the result by 4 to get a pretty good estimation of your Cl. This willl tide you over until you get your kit.

    Welcome to TFP!

    ETA Great idea, JasonLion!

    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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    Awesome info guys. Thanks alot. I will get the pH adjusted today and try the distilled water with my next test. I guess I will still use the same 5 drops of reagent?
    18' round Intex using BBB

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    Re: OK, here's my swamp!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris S
    Last summer was my first ever with a pool... The only testing method I have is a Wal-mart special, and when I add the first drop of chemical, the sample turns red. I guess I am probably at shock level.
    Chris, just to make sure, you are using the yellow cap OTO bleach drops, right? Not the red cap PH reagents that do turn the water red?

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    Rangeball,
    at ultra-high Cl levels, the OTO turns dark red.

    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!

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Grace, I thought it was more of a dark burnt orange? At least that's what I got when I added some bleach to my test sample last year just to see how dark it would get

    Anyway, point taken. I just wanted to make sure... Stranger things have happened

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    Ok, I got some distilled water and did the Cl test. I did 3 parts distilled water to 1 part pool water. The color was still very, very, very, dark reddish yellow. So that means well in excess of 20 ppm? I guess I am way high in the chlorination dept. I also added about 5 ounces of Muratic and my pH is about 7.8. I am anxiously awaiting my kit so I can get to work on the TA. The filter is still running 24/7. Nothing exciting to report in the water clarity dept.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    18' round Intex using BBB

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris S
    Ok, I got some distilled water and did the Cl test. I did 3 parts distilled water to 1 part pool water. The color was still very, very, very, dark reddish yellow. So that means well in excess of 20 ppm? I guess I am way high in the chlorination dept. I also added about 5 ounces of Muratic and my pH is about 7.8. I am anxiously awaiting my kit so I can get to work on the TA. The filter is still running 24/7. Nothing exciting to report in the water clarity dept.
    High Cl levels can give you false pH readings so adjusting your pH right now is not advisable. Just keep your Cl at shock Levels and run your pump 24/7 until it has cleared.
    -Rick
    ~15k Gal IG
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris S
    Ok, I got some distilled water and did the Cl test. I did 3 parts distilled water to 1 part pool water. The color was still very, very, very, dark reddish yellow. So that means well in excess of 20 ppm? I guess I am way high in the chlorination dept. I also added about 5 ounces of Muratic and my pH is about 7.8. I am anxiously awaiting my kit so I can get to work on the TA. The filter is still running 24/7. Nothing exciting to report in the water clarity dept.
    Wow! Yes, you've got plenty of Cl


    Chris, You're gonna' be one popular guy here. I think I've seen three deck questions for you already!! Did you see mine about your source for chlorine?


    EDIT: I just saw RAA's post and he is correct. I completely forgot that.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    May 31

    There may be a slight change in the water, but I'm not sure. I need to take all my pics at the exact same time with the same light conditions. The acid I put in dropped the pH a little lower than I meant to. It's looks to be about 7 with my Wal-mart test kit. I really hope my kit comes tomorrow. When I tested chlorine today, I use the pool water sample by itself in the test kit and it was actually yellow. Very dark, but still yellow. I hit the pool with another gallon of 12.5%. It would be nice to know my CYA so I'm not guessing. Pump is still running 24/7, but the time that it takes the filter to clog up has increased alot.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    18' round Intex using BBB

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    In my unexpert opinion the water color does seem to be improving. Did you get the wal-mart 2 way or 6 way? The 6 way can test for CYA....
    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

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    I've got the 6 way, but I dont have the instructions. I guess I can look online.
    18' round Intex using BBB

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Chris,

    A pH pf 7 isn't that bad and it might actually help kill the algae since chlorine is more effective at the lower pH. You are right, you must find out what your CYA levels are and hopefully your new test kit will arrive so you can take the guess work out of the equation as FAS-DPD is the only way to test high high chlorine accurately. Stay at it and be patient, your moving in the right direction.

    Dave

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    As everyone has stated patience is the key. My pool had sheets of algae floating up from the bottom when I started cleaning it up. Stayed consistent with the bleach and now clear clean water. The advice / info you recieve here will get your pool looking good in no time. With alot less expense and trouble than dumping alot of stuff in from the pool store.
    Dave
    IG 18x36 oval vinyl, Spill over spa, Northstar 2hp-2spd, 2.5" piping, S310T 500lb Sand filter, 400k gas heater, AutoPilot SWCG
    http://www.tftestkits.net/

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    Well, I found out the hard way that I have little to no CYA. I didn't mess with the pool from 10pm last night until 4pm today and almost all of my bleach was gone. When I added the reagent drops, it was almost clear. I put about 1lb. of CYA in a hankerchief and put it in one of those floats used for pucks. The water is definitely getting a little clearer. I have about 18" of blurry visibility now. I also loaded it back up with bleach. I was thinking today that maybe my pump isn't turning the water over fast enough, thus my very slow results. My pool capacity is 5500 gallons, and my pump is 1500 GPH. Wouldn't that be enough? Still no test kit today.

    ETA: Will putting a sock in the skimmer speed up the dead algae filtering? I think I'll try it. The cartridges just seem to let a lot of the fine stuff through now.
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    18' round Intex using BBB

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    The key point is to test your water and bring it back up to shock level as frequently as possible. With little or no CYA in the pool that is more difficult to keep up with. Keep at it, you are making progress.

    Remember to backwash/clean the filter occasionally. If you have the time and can afford the water loss you can backwash a couple of times a day. The cleaner the filter the more water will move through, which is what you want right now.

    Even after you kill all the algae it can take from several days to over a week for the filter to clear out all the dead alage. You will have sparkling water, just be patient.
    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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