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Thread: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

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    austinsmom01's Avatar
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    Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

    I have a 16' round 48" deep Intex Easy Set Pool. I'm using a 1500 gph filter/pump and after lots of rain and wind blowing junk in my pool, my crystal clear water is now a murky mess. I had lots of junk at the bottom that I tried vacuuming but that wimpy thing that came with the pool just stirred it into a soup. Now I can't see the bottom. I bought new filters and have been running the pump now continually for 48 hours and it's looking a little better but still can see the pole I dropped on the bottom. I've been changing and cleaning my nasty filters now for 2 days. Here are my numbers:

    TH-100
    TC-3
    FC-10+ (shocked twice now-is that why it's so high?)
    PH-7.6
    TA-120
    CYA (is the same as stabilizer?)-100

    I put in a couple oz. of clarifier to help. I usually run my pump for 5 hours everyday and keep a leaf net on to help but dirt still gets in and I don't know the best way to get it out. I bought a better vacuum head with hose that I attach right to the intake of the pump (since it won't fit on the one to the pool). I'm almost ready to say the heck with this thing if it's going to be this much trouble.

    Here are my questions....are you ready?

    Is my pump adequate?
    When the pool is looking and acting right is 5 hours each day enough or should I be running it more??
    How often should I test the water? Shock?
    My PH tends to be very low so it seems I'm always adding PH increaser. Would something else be causing it to be so low?
    How long does it take for the water to clear up again running the pump constantly? My electric bill is going to be outrageous!
    Does anyone recommend an inexpensive yet reliable vacuum that will fit my pool?

    Thanks much. I've been searching and reading and have found tons of great information and answers to some of my questions but I'm hoping someone can address all of my concerns.
    15,400 gal. IG Gunnite
    1.5 hp Champion Pool Pump
    3/4 hp Century Pool & Spa Motor
    Pentair Automatic Chlorine Feeder
    Crystal Water Pool & Spa Cartridge Filter
    Polaris 280

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

    Yes, CYA is the same as stabilizer and is sometimes also called conditioner. A CYA level of 100 is very high, it would be much better if you could get that down to 80 or preferably much lower. The only practical way to lower CYA is to replace water.

    Fighting algae, which it sounds like you probably have, is going to be very difficult with CYA that high. You also need to look at how your CYA level got that high. Trichlor tablets/pucks/sticks are the most common cause of high CYA. Granular "shock" products with dichlor in them also contain large amounts of CYA. You need to either stop using products that contain CYA, or replace water regularly, to keep your CYA level down.

    You pump/filter is just adequate, not good but usable. Everything would be simpler with a better pump/filter but you can get by with what you have.

    The clarifier is not going to help in this situation.
    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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    austinsmom01's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

    Thanks much! I use the big 3" tablets in my floater. I usually keep two in at a time but right now there is 2 and 2 pieces. I took that out a couple of days ago. I have been using the shock packets too. What else do you recommend besides the shock packets? Do I not need to use the stabilizer tablets at all?
    15,400 gal. IG Gunnite
    1.5 hp Champion Pool Pump
    3/4 hp Century Pool & Spa Motor
    Pentair Automatic Chlorine Feeder
    Crystal Water Pool & Spa Cartridge Filter
    Polaris 280

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    austinsmom01's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

    PS. I am draining as I write this and I also dumped in about 2/3 gallon of algecide. The water is now murky white. Should I be pouring in bleach? If so, how much? How long does this normally take to clear up? I just want to know what to expect? Thanks again! ARG!!!!!!
    15,400 gal. IG Gunnite
    1.5 hp Champion Pool Pump
    3/4 hp Century Pool & Spa Motor
    Pentair Automatic Chlorine Feeder
    Crystal Water Pool & Spa Cartridge Filter
    Polaris 280

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    Re: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

    ALL you need for normal chlorination and for shocking is ordinary laundry bleach. I suggest you click on the link at the top of the page for Pool School and start reading . Read everything there at least twice. You might not understand it all right now but you will understand a lot of it. I suggest you start with 'What is BBB' and then read the 'Abbreviations and Definitions' then go through the other articles. When you are done you might be better able to ask questions that will help you clear your pool. If you haven't already bought one get a GOOD test kit. There is a test kit comparison article in pool school. It will tell you the three test kits we recommend because they WORK and give you test results that are ACCURATE and easy to obtain. They also test all the parameters that you need to test.
    There is no reason to be overwhelmed. Once you get the hang of it caring for your pool is easier than baking a layer cake from scratch!

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    austinsmom01's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

    I've been reading but there are still so many questions I have. Should I be emptying water while at the same time adding bleach? Seems I'm wasting my efforts. I added 256 oz. of bleach and now the algea is forming a film on top. Is that normal? It's 10 at night and I'm going to leave the pool to drain overnight. Hopefully I can sleep. I'll deal with the reprocusions in the morning I suppose. This is my second season and first time I've had algae. Sorry but I'm trying to read and work on the pool at the same time and don't want to screw it all up. I hope you understand I'm new to this.

    Ps, is it safe to get in that mess to plug the drain?
    15,400 gal. IG Gunnite
    1.5 hp Champion Pool Pump
    3/4 hp Century Pool & Spa Motor
    Pentair Automatic Chlorine Feeder
    Crystal Water Pool & Spa Cartridge Filter
    Polaris 280

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    austinsmom01's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

    I just wanted to say thanks to those that said I had an aglae problem and I think I got it in the beginning stages. I don't mean to frustrate anyone with my annoying questions. I've taken all of your advice and have emptied about 1/2 of my 16' round AG 42" deep pool and added clean water. I've added 4 gallons of bleach and the water has now gone from green ewww to cloudy white. I scrubbed with a hand sponge around the top edges and scrubbed the sides and bottom with a brush. I've changed my filters twice a day and the pool is starting to look better. I don't have a good test kit yet but I can tell just from what I have the CYA is down tremendously from what it was and FC is at shock level. I'll continue to keep an eye on it as I'm off all next week and will have the time to devote to it. I know us newbies can be annoying with stupid questions so I've read the stickies and read them more than twice and I don't feel as frustrated as I did yesterday. I now know why the algae broke out and I know what to do in the future to keep it from happening. Just wanted to say to all those longtermers..... be patient with us poolidiots cause we are crazy and just need someone with pool smarts to tell us what we are doing wrong and set us straight. I am now a devoted BBB user and by golly I won't let this vinyl bubble get me. My 8 year old son refuses to let it! 8)

    Thanks for giving me my sanity back! I'm so glad I found you!
    Cindy
    15,400 gal. IG Gunnite
    1.5 hp Champion Pool Pump
    3/4 hp Century Pool & Spa Motor
    Pentair Automatic Chlorine Feeder
    Crystal Water Pool & Spa Cartridge Filter
    Polaris 280

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    austinsmom01's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

    I think I put in too much bleach. 5 gallons. What do I do now? FC number is off the charts. Color is red. PH is very high also. Water is very cloudy but not green anymore. Added the recommended acid and will check it again in the morning. Any advice?
    15,400 gal. IG Gunnite
    1.5 hp Champion Pool Pump
    3/4 hp Century Pool & Spa Motor
    Pentair Automatic Chlorine Feeder
    Crystal Water Pool & Spa Cartridge Filter
    Polaris 280

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    Re: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

    Did you use 5 gal of ordinary laundry bleach or 5 gal of chlorine from a pool store?

    Don't let the kids go in the pool Sunday or until you get a normal FC (2 to about 5) reading.
    Hotrod30

    20 X 40 foot vinyl Borates and Salt Pool
    Rolachem Chlorine Feeder
    Hayward 27 inch sand filter with 80 lbs of pea gravel
    Jacuzzi Splash Pak SP55 DE filter in parallel
    Pentair VF3050 pump

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    Re: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

    You HAVE to get a good test kit!!!! Without that you are just adding chemicals which costs money and gets you nowhere. You can't know what to add unless you know where you are and where you need to be.

    We need numbers to help you out. "red" and "off the charts" doesn't tell us much. Once you get the test kit, pool maintenance will be easy, more enjoyable and more affordable.
    15,500 gal, inground gunite pool with 7 ft spa, 2 speed pump 2hp/.33hp, 3/4 hp booster pump, Intermatic P1353 timer, AutoPilot SC-48, Sand filter with ZeoBest, Heater, that I never use . . .

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    austinsmom01's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

    Did you use 5 gal of ordinary laundry bleach or 5 gal of chlorine from a pool store?

    Don't let the kids go in the pool Sunday or until you get a normal FC (2 to about 5) reading.


    I used 5 gals of ordinary laundry bleach. The water is no longer green but cloudy white. I think I'll just quit posting here for a while cause it seems I'm just getting yelled at about not having a GOOD test kit. I drove all over town yesterday going to two pool stores to get my kit and I don't understand why this kit isn't good enough. It tests FC, PH, TA are those not the most important numbers for my size pool? Unfortunately it doesn't talk or I'd ask it the questions that have me scratching my head instead of hoping to find someone here who has dealt with these issues. I guess I'll learn by trial and error. I must be doing something right as I haven't spent any money accept buying the BBB and so far I've only added 5 gals of bleach and 16 oz. of acid. to bring the PH down. I've not been pouring in all sorts of chemicals and going at it blindly. Guess the best advice I've gotten from this site so far is POP! Not only for the pool but in asking advice.
    15,400 gal. IG Gunnite
    1.5 hp Champion Pool Pump
    3/4 hp Century Pool & Spa Motor
    Pentair Automatic Chlorine Feeder
    Crystal Water Pool & Spa Cartridge Filter
    Polaris 280

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    Re: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

    Quote Originally Posted by austinsmom01
    Did you use 5 gal of ordinary laundry bleach or 5 gal of chlorine from a pool store?

    Don't let the kids go in the pool Sunday or until you get a normal FC (2 to about 5) reading.


    I used 5 gals of ordinary laundry bleach. The water is no longer green but cloudy white. I think I'll just quit posting here for a while cause it seems I'm just getting yelled at about not having a GOOD test kit. I drove all over town yesterday going to two pool stores to get my kit and I don't understand why this kit isn't good enough. It tests FC, PH, TA are those not the most important numbers for my size pool? Unfortunately it doesn't talk or I'd ask it the questions that have me scratching my head instead of hoping to find someone here who has dealt with these issues. I guess I'll learn by trial and error. I must be doing something right as I haven't spent any money accept buying the BBB and so far I've only added 5 gals of bleach and 16 oz. of acid. to bring the PH down. I've not been pouring in all sorts of chemicals and going at it blindly. Guess the best advice I've gotten from this site so far is POP! Not only for the pool but in asking advice.
    You need a test kit that will test high levels of chlorine and will test FC and CC....that means a test kit with an FAS-DPD titration test for chlorine. You also need to test for pH, TA, CH and CYA. The size of your pool has nothing to do with what you need to test for. There really only are three cost effective test kits that test all these parameters category/pool-school/pool_test_kit_comparison
    As far as asking questions, that is how you learn. Realize that what people have been helping you with are the most important ones now so they might ignore some of the questions that can be answered once you get your pool under control. Your high CYA caused your algae outbreak and your first step was to drain and refill to get the level down, which is what you were told. Once that was done the lower CYA level in your pool would make it much easier to kill the algae with bleach so that was your second step. The cloudy water if from dead algae and now you need to filter it out,which could take some time. This is your third step.
    You are NOT getting yelled at for not having a good test kit BUT without a good test kit it's really impossible to handle your pool easily and economically, whether you use BBB, trichlor tabs, a SWG, or any other method of chlorination. THAT is the main lesson that we try and teach here and it's really the first step to controlling your water instead of your water controlling you!
    A good test kit is a MUST. If you can't find a Taylor K-2006 locally then you need to order one or a TF100 or a Leslies FAS-DPD service kit online. Any other kit it not going to really cut it. We know from experience. And isn't the reason you came here for help our collective experience? If you don't want to listen to it we can't do that much for you.

    Remember. you yourself wrote:
    Quote Originally Posted by austinsmom01
    and just need someone with pool smarts to tell us what we are doing wrong and set us straight.
    and that is what we have been trying to do in telling you a good test kit is what you need.

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    austinsmom01's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

    Point taken. Thanks.
    15,400 gal. IG Gunnite
    1.5 hp Champion Pool Pump
    3/4 hp Century Pool & Spa Motor
    Pentair Automatic Chlorine Feeder
    Crystal Water Pool & Spa Cartridge Filter
    Polaris 280

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    Re: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

    Hi there, just thought I'd chime in....having been in your flip flops.

    Please don't feel like you are being yelled at or chastized. The main concern about test kits, is at this point you are still just guessing about what levels your pool water is at, as far as FC and shock levels. You can have the pool store test your water, but they aren't always accurate. You can test up to 5, some tests even go as high as 10. But if you need to shock to say, 18...how can you measure it? You need to know that you are spot on, and keep it there, till the shock level holds overnight. If you have no way to test that high, you could be putting in too much bleach, say up to 30 or 50 or even higher....you can ruin your pool. You really don't want to just guess and hope that you are at shock levels....the process could take twice as long as it needs to, especially if you are not reaching the correct levels.

    The pool guru's don't mind the questions from the noobs. We were all noobs at one point or another. And I don't think they are yelling at you or that you should quit posting here. It's very hard to interpret written comments on a forum without knowing the sentiment behind it. Now, that being said, if someone says something outright nasty, well there ya go.

    It's going to be fine. Have another POP. Get an FAS-DPD test, ASAP. You'll be sparkly in no time.
    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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    austinsmom01's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

    Thank you. I'm just frustrated so right now and I'm mad I can't go buy a GOOD test kit at a local store rather than wait for it to come in the mail. I appreciate your comments and was really all I needed to hear. My honey thinks I'm crazy getting up at 6 am and going out at midnight to scrub everyday and check with a flashlight. I WILL get that kit so I can get better advice. Thanks much!
    15,400 gal. IG Gunnite
    1.5 hp Champion Pool Pump
    3/4 hp Century Pool & Spa Motor
    Pentair Automatic Chlorine Feeder
    Crystal Water Pool & Spa Cartridge Filter
    Polaris 280

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    Re: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

    Quote Originally Posted by austinsmom01
    Thank you. I'm just frustrated so right now and I'm mad I can't go buy a GOOD test kit at a local store rather than wait for it to come in the mail. I appreciate your comments and was really all I needed to hear. My honey thinks I'm crazy getting up at 6 am and going out at midnight to scrub everyday and check with a flashlight. I WILL get that kit so I can get better advice. Thanks much!
    LOL reminds me of myself driving all over the sw suburbs of Chicago to area pool stores looking for a test kit. I realize now that they don't sell them, because if you are in control of your pool, testing yourself, your knowledge means you won't buy their chemicals.....
    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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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

    I ordered a TF100 on a Friday and got it on a Monday.

    The kit is really easy to use and very accurate. 8)
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

    I'll give you this example so you can understand where we're coming from. I think it will illustrate why a test kit is so important.

    If I read your post correctly your pool is 16' in diameter and 48" deep which yields a total volume of about 6000 gallons. You just added 5 gallons of regular household bleach so we'll assume it's 6% Sodium hypochlorite.

    You just increased the chlorine content of your pool to 50ppm assuming your started at 0ppm

    Now in order to kill algae you need to maintain about 20-30ppm (depends on cya level) and it needs to hold overnight. Meaning, you need to measure it before you go to bed and when you wake up. If it's less than 20ppm then you still have organic matter in the pool. If it's stable then everything is dead. This can take some time. As others have said the cloudiness is the dead algae. Keep the pump running 24/7 until it clears.

    While you wait for the pool to clear and the chlorine to reduce, go online and order a kit
    15,500 gal, inground gunite pool with 7 ft spa, 2 speed pump 2hp/.33hp, 3/4 hp booster pump, Intermatic P1353 timer, AutoPilot SC-48, Sand filter with ZeoBest, Heater, that I never use . . .

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    austinsmom01's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!



    I'll give you this example so you can understand where we're coming from. I think it will illustrate why a test kit is so important.

    If I read your post correctly your pool is 16' in diameter and 48" deep which yields a total volume of about 6000 gallons. You just added 5 gallons of regular household bleach so we'll assume it's 6% Sodium hypochlorite.

    You just increased the chlorine content of your pool to 50ppm assuming your started at 0ppm

    Now in order to kill algae you need to maintain about 20-30ppm (depends on cya level) and it needs to hold overnight. Meaning, you need to measure it before you go to bed and when you wake up. If it's less than 20ppm then you still have organic matter in the pool. If it's stable then everything is dead. This can take some time. As others have said the cloudiness is the dead algae. Keep the pump running 24/7 until it clears.

    While you wait for the pool to clear and the chlorine to reduce, go online and order a kit


    YES! The clouds just parted and angels are singing! Thanks for that as now I feel I am being understood. What you've said makes perfect sense. The pool is looking better everyday. Running the pump 24/7 and cleaning the filter 4 times a day (just cause I'm OCD). I'm going to order the kit now.
    15,400 gal. IG Gunnite
    1.5 hp Champion Pool Pump
    3/4 hp Century Pool & Spa Motor
    Pentair Automatic Chlorine Feeder
    Crystal Water Pool & Spa Cartridge Filter
    Polaris 280

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to figure this all out! OVERWHELMED!

    A discussion of using OTO with dilution has been moved to this topic in The Deep End. JasonLion
    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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