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Thread: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

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    Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    I am new to this forum and desperate to get some help with this pool. I am frustrated with conflicting advise on how to clear our green pool. Sorry this is going to be long but I'd like to include as much as possible...

    Some info:
    Kayak 16' x 24' on ground/above ground pool with deep end, vinyl liner
    11,500 gallons
    2 main drains, 1 skimmer
    1 hp pump with sta-rite cartridge filter
    Pool Frog chlorinator with chlorine bac pac

    This is our 4th summer with this pool. We have really had no problems with this pool it has been very easy to maintain with routine shock and very little vacumming needed -- UNTIL NOW.

    Used the pool on July 6th, put in one bag of pool shock after swimming. The pool was unused and covered with solar cover until July 10th when we took off the cover and it was somewhat cloudy and green colored. Pool store said our Free Chlorine was low and to add two bags of Burn Out Extreme.
    Back to the pool store on the 10th and they said chlorine was high enough and it should be killing the algae - just run on main drain only and run it continuously. They said that the problem may be the cartridge filter - just takes a while. Added more shock on the 15th and 19th. The water is darker green and cannot see beyond the first step on the ladder. On July 20 we decided to try an Algaecide that has 3.3% copper - used 16-18 oz. This did nothing so about a day later we put in the rest of the bottle - 14-16 oz. Oh, we also have been switching out our cartridge filters and cleaning them - they have not been overly dirty (some green). Back to the pool store on July 22nd - result of water test:
    TC - 6
    FC - 6
    PH 7.9
    Talk - 193
    adj total alk - 148
    hardness - 314
    CYA - 151

    They didn't really know what to suggest so he said to try PowerFloc and sit overnight without pump running - then vacuum the next day. I did this but still no result. I saw no settling to the bottom - can't see the bottom. Yesterday I added something to adjust the PH and it is back to 7.6. Went back to the pool store today and they said the water is in balance and that we just need to keep running the pump on bottom drain with just a little bit on the skimmer. He said there is a little iron and copper in the pool also. They don't seem too keen on cartridge filters there so I think they are saying that is the reason the pool is not clearing. I think we still have live algae in the pool though.

    So that pretty much brings me up to date. - Don't know what to do next. I've read a little bit on your forum and see most of the recommendations are for liquid bleach and lots of it. I've never used this in my pool. Why is this recommended over bags of pool shock?

    Thanks for any advise - our summers are short in MI and we are not getting to use our pool
    16 x 24 Kayak Pool - on gound / above ground
    11,500 gallons
    New 1.5 hp Columbia (?) pump
    New Sand Filter
    Formerly had 1hp pump Sta Rite cartridge filter with
    Pool Frog chlorinator (turned off as of 7/25)

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    Join Date
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    Re: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    Some other folks here may be able to give more detailed advise than me, but for my 2 cents it appears that you have a few problems:

    With a CYA level of 151, the amount of free chlorine you would need to maintain to prevent algae is nearly impossible. You need to get the CYA down. Unfortunately, the only practical way to reduce this is to partially drain and refill your pool.

    After that you will need to shock your pool and keep it shocked until your algae is dead. Trying to do this now is fruitless w/ a CYA level as high as yours.

    The pool store will have you running in circles; buying their expensive algecides, floculants and the such. I suggest you take matters in your own hands and get a good test kit (TFT test kits or Taylor 2006). That way you will know what is going on in your pool and you will be in control.

    Being that you are new to this forum, read all that you can. I did and I cannot express enough how much I learned....the people here are outstanding.
    32000 gallon L-shaped inground vinyl.

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    Join Date
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    NY state
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    Re: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    After re-reading your post, I'm not sure what a "pool frog chlorinator" is but if it uses tri-chlor pucks, that is your source of the high CYA. Bleach is the only commonly available source of chlorine that will not add CYA to your pool. That is why it is so touted here and why I switched myself.
    32000 gallon L-shaped inground vinyl.

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    Re: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    I agree with PJpool , i feel for you i was in your situation two weeks ago, only thing was my CYA was zero
    drain the pool by 1/4 and then add water try to get your CYA to around 50 to 60 range then go to pool calculator on this website and see how bleach is needed to keep your water at shock level. I think 3 gallons will do untill you get the test kit , cuz regular test kits dont measure FC higher than 10 ppm. i think your shock level should be at around 16 PPM with CYA of 60 . and then brushe the walls and floor at least two times a day while you keep the FC at 16+ until the Alea begins to break it might take a week add the bleach at night and keep the pump going . post any question you have a good member here will help you.
    19000 Gal. Fiberglass Inground 44x18 irregular shape pool
    Heat Siphon heater , Cooper Ind. Ranger Series Sand Filter, 3/4 HP Speck pump, Astral inline Chlorinator
    Aquacheck and TF100 tester
    NJ USA

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by momfromMI
    Went back to the pool store today and they said the water is in balance

    Your water is not in balance. Balanced water for a vinyl lined pool looks something like this:
    pH = 7.5
    FC = 3 - 5
    CC = 0
    TC = 3 - 5
    TA = 80 - 100
    CYA = 30 - 60 (depends on sun exposure)
    CH = ~ 150 (not generally an important factor in vinyl pools)
    Metals = 0

    I'm really sorry this is happening to you and your pool - through no apparent fault of your own. We can help you fix it and wean you away from the pool store.

    You will do yourself a great favor by getting a good, reliable test kit and keeping track of your water balance on a daily basis. Many of us use the TF-100. When you think of the cost of gasoline in driving to the pool store several times a month for water testing and rarely walking out of there with under $50 in chemicals, a good test kit pays for itself in one trip.

    The next thing is to take out or disable the Pool Frog. It is what put all that stabilizer in your water which is now causing you such grief.

    The first step is to reduce the CYA (stabilizer) level by diluting it via water exchange. To reduce your current CYA concentration (if the pool store's test is correct) from 151 to 50 you would have to drain 2/3 of your volume and refill. Is that feasible for where you live? Rather than using well or municipal water from the hose (takes a long time) would it be economical for you to hire a water truck for ~7,700 gallons? Obviously, by replacing this much water in order to get within range of manageable CYA you've pretty much dealt with the algae problem.

    Please let us know if the water exchange is workable for you. If it's not, then we'll have use a different approach. You might want to take a look at this thread. About two-thirds down the page is a post from Chem Geek in which he describes how to manage algae in a high CYA pool while exchanging the water incrementally rather than all at once.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    The critical step is reducing the CYA level. At your CYA level it would take extremely high chlorine levels to do much of anything to the algae. You need to lower your CYA level below 100, and preferably closer to 50. Unfortunately, the only practical way to do that is to replace water.

    Once you get the CYA level down, you can shock the pool and kill all the algae.

    All of the other adjustments can wait till the algae is dead.
    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: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    Thanks for all the replies. I wasn't sure where all the stabilizer was coming from - does anyone else use Pool Frog? I will check to see if that is the source of it. The one guy at the pool store said - "you've got plenty of stabilizer so that's good". If we disable this what would you suggest for chlorine maintenance? Also could the bags of "pool shock" be adding to the CYA? or is this just chlorine. Sorry we don't know all the options - we were just following what the guy who set up our pool told us to do. The pool frog has a dial on it so we can dial it down also if we need to.

    So, I guess the first step is lowering the CYA. We do have well water here so I don't know if I want to add a bunch of this at one time. We did have to put a little extra water in it a night ago so my CYA may be a little lower than 151 now but with my test strip it is difficult to tell - still looks to be over 100. Any suggestions beyond trucking in water? We did this when we first filled it but that is an expense I really don't want to take on right now.

    Thanks.
    16 x 24 Kayak Pool - on gound / above ground
    11,500 gallons
    New 1.5 hp Columbia (?) pump
    New Sand Filter
    Formerly had 1hp pump Sta Rite cartridge filter with
    Pool Frog chlorinator (turned off as of 7/25)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    The Frog uses trichlor and nearly all tablets/pucks are made of trichlor. Trichlor contains CYA. Some of the granular shock products are made of dichlor. Dichlor contains CYA. Some shock products are made of cal-hypo, which doesn't contain CYA but does contain calcium.

    Most people around here either use bleach, liquid chlorine, or a SWG (salt water system) to provide 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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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    Using well water can take a very long time depending on your well's capacity. We're on a well and I rarely run my hose for more than an hour. Have you ever taken a well water sample to the pool store and had them test it for alkalinity and metals? If you do that, be sure to collect the water sample from the hose, not from the kitchen sink which may have a filter or purifier on it. When you collect from the hose, let it run a little so you don't get 'hose water' which may contain chemicals leached out from the hose. The reason to test your well water is to get a base line on what goes in the pool when you refill or top it off. Fill water high in alkalinity, for instance, will affect how you manage the TA in your pool.

    Pool Frogs use trichlor which contains CYA. After 4 years of use it's not surprising that the concentration is that high. This is why we recommend the Bleach-Baking soda-Borax method. It gives you far more control over what goes into the water and when.

    I don't know what to tell you about the water exchange. Buying fresh water is expensive; using well water takes forever. But there's no other way to get the CYA down and as long as you're over 100 you'll have a really hard time combating algae.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Re: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    MomFromMI,

    Where in MI are you from? What poolstore are you working with? Heed the advice of these guys on here; they are SMART, SMART, SMART!
    Chris

    18'x36' (Depth: deep 8'6" shallow 3'6") rectangular 27,000 Gallon Vinyl In Ground. Hayward self-priming super pump 1 HP 2600x5-96, Hayward Pro Series High Rate 24" 7-Position 300 lb Sand Filter, Hayward H250 Natural Gas 250,000 BTU Electronic Ignitiion - Digital Readout Heater, Hayward Navigator 925V PoolVac.

    Converted Baquacil to Chlorine - should have done it sooner!

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    You have gotten great advice thus far and I just want to add something and give you some "homework", LOL, more reading...

    Here, you can read all about the Frog, which is a mineral ionizer that uses trichlor bacpacs.

    alternative-sanitizers-and-chemical-free-pools-the-truth-t3025.html

    The Frog is one of the most ( if not the most) expensive methods of pool sanitation, and virtually every time will lead to an overly stabilized pool with algae troubles, not to mention stains from the copper and metals that the Pool Frog is adding....as a Pool Frog user for 6 years I have firsthand experience and won't hesitate to tell you to ditch it ASAP.

    So ditto the advice to drain and replace some of your pool water, you will be in much better shape.

    Follow the advice given thus far (its all good!) and read all the articles in Pool School, learn how to work the Pool Calculator, and read about the relationship between CYA and chlorine. If you pool store told you it was "good" they don't know what they are talking about. Period.

    Welcome to TFP and good luck! You have lots of support and help here!!!
    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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    Re: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    I checked the bags of 'Quick Dissolving shock' we have been using and the ingredients are:
    Sodium Dichloro-s Triazinetrione Hydrated 99%, Other ingredients 1%, Available Chlorine - 55.5%

    Should I not use this - we have a whole box of it.

    More questions: What is the difference between liquid chlorine from the pool store and household bleach? Do I need to look for percentages?

    After we get the CYA down, and kill the algae - do I then want my chlorine levels to be between 3-5 ppm before we can swim or does it need to be higher than this?

    Thanks
    16 x 24 Kayak Pool - on gound / above ground
    11,500 gallons
    New 1.5 hp Columbia (?) pump
    New Sand Filter
    Formerly had 1hp pump Sta Rite cartridge filter with
    Pool Frog chlorinator (turned off as of 7/25)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by momfromMI
    I checked the bags of 'Quick Dissolving shock' we have been using and the ingredients are:
    Sodium Dichloro-s Triazinetrione Hydrated 99%, Other ingredients 1%, Available Chlorine - 55.5%

    Should I not use this - we have a whole box of it.

    More questions: What is the difference between liquid chlorine from the pool store and household bleach? Do I need to look for percentages?

    After we get the CYA down, and kill the algae - do I then want my chlorine levels to be between 3-5 ppm before we can swim or does it need to be higher than this?

    Thanks
    Dichlor shock is what that is, and it adds CYA. So no, don't use it. Try to return it or sell it to someone else, or save it (but I'm not sure of the stability or shelf life) for when your pool is more balanced.

    Check out the CYA/Chlorine chart in my signature, that tells you the levels for chlorine and it all depends on how much CYA you have in your pool at the time. Pay particular attention to 'minimum' 'target' and 'shock'. You will see the chart doesn't go above 100 for your case.....because it's virtually impossible to manage a pool with CYA that high.

    Hope this makes sense....I know it can be very overwhelming, it's alot of information being thrown at you all at once.....
    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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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by momfromMI
    More questions: What is the difference between liquid chlorine from the pool store and household bleach? Do I need to look for percentages?
    I'll take this one while I wait for my beef cubes to brown

    The difference between LC from the pool store and household bleach is the concentration. Liquid chlorine is often sold in 3 gallon carboys (look sort of like jerry cans) and has a functional concentration of about 11%. It starts out at 12.5% but loses some from storage. Bleach has anywhere from 5.25 to 6%. I use LC from the pool store because, for me, it's more economical.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

  15. Back To Top    #15
    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by momfromMI
    After we get the CYA down, and kill the algae - do I then want my chlorine levels to be between 3-5 ppm before we can swim or does it need to be higher than this?
    The beef cubes are done and in the slow cooker. Goulash is on its way.

    The free chlorine (FC) values of 3 - 5 ppm are the maintenance level. You can swim in concentrations much higher than that. I know of a public pool which runs its FC at 40 ppm (!) and a municipal drinking water supply near me occasionally chlorinates to 8 ppm. The WHO maximum standard for drinking water is 3mg/L which, if my math is correct, is 3 ppm. But we don't drink huge amounts of our pool water.

    Once you have control over your pool and the algae are gone you'll be running it at between 3 and 5 ppm. You can swim in higher concentrations.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    I saw somewhere on this site a method for estimating the Free Chlorine above 10ppm. Our test kit only goes to 10 ppm. Can someone refer me to these directions - I couldn't find them.

    We have drained water below the skimmer three times and refilled but I don't think we have changed the CYA level much.

    We put in 4 of the 1 1/2 gal bottles of bleach last night (about an hour apart), and an additional gallon of liquid pool chlorine today. We have not seen much improvement in the water. Without having a test kit that goes up that high we are really just guessing. Should I just keep dumping in more chlorine until we see a difference in the color?

    Thanks for any help.
    16 x 24 Kayak Pool - on gound / above ground
    11,500 gallons
    New 1.5 hp Columbia (?) pump
    New Sand Filter
    Formerly had 1hp pump Sta Rite cartridge filter with
    Pool Frog chlorinator (turned off as of 7/25)

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    You have landed yourself in a bit of a mess with the fact that you have a vinyl liner.

    At 151 CYA, you really need to drain about 2/3rds of your water. However, you can't drain 2/3rds easily without risking your liner, since with your deep end, you risk your shallow end being too empty.

    Here are your options:

    1) Find a large piece of plastic, bigger than your pool by several feet (10 should do it, but if you can find bigger, go for it) on all sides. Place it over your entire pool, drain one foot, fill one foot on top of the large plastic sheet (basically keeping the layers seperate). Repeat this until you have gotten about 2/3rds out, perhaps even a bit more if you aren't willing to switch to BBB. Remove the sheet, allow the water to mix.

    2) Drain your pool, leaving at least 1 1/2 feet in the SHALLOW end. Refill, and repeat until CYA is appropriate. Others on this forum with more experience with this might be able to give you a better depth to leave.

    1 is trickier to do, 2 is more time consuming and will take more water.

    Once you have CYA below 50, start shocking. The only things you should use to shock are Liquid Chlorine or Bleach. If you must use something from the pool store, maybe Cal-Hypo, definately not what you were using though.

    There is no point trying to kill the Algae until you get your CYA down, you simply won't get enough FC to outpace its natural growth with your high CYA level.
    Jim

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    This is so confusing.

    Yesterday after doing a couple drains and refills (before we started adding the large amounts of bleach), I decided to take my water in and get it tested at the pool store. The print out says "Congratulations" your water is perfectly balanced. The "ideal" range for CYA shows 30 - 200. Mine was still at 151. They use a Bioguard analyzer. Why is their ideal range so high? I also checked my pool manual for Kayak pools and it said 20 - 100 ppm for stabilizer. My other results were TC= 3, FC = 3, tot alk 201, Adj Tot alk 156. This was before we added all of the bleach last night and today. Today using the test strips everything looks to be at the max (TC, FC, TA, PH, CYA.

    I'm not sure how the CYA got so high - so fast? we've never had a problem like this before. No one ever said to watch for this level.

    So is the recommendation to drain my pool 2/3 ? Does anyone reading this have a Kayak pool? I'm not sure I understand what kind of liner problems am I going to have when we drain? Any other suggestions?
    16 x 24 Kayak Pool - on gound / above ground
    11,500 gallons
    New 1.5 hp Columbia (?) pump
    New Sand Filter
    Formerly had 1hp pump Sta Rite cartridge filter with
    Pool Frog chlorinator (turned off as of 7/25)

  19. Back To Top    #19
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    Because you have a vinyl liner you can't just drain all the water out of the pool and then fill it again. If the weight of the water isn't there holding the liner in place it can shrink or shift and be very difficult or impossible to get back into place. Unless you have a very high water table, draining 18" below the skimmer is normally safe. Doing that several times will have the desired effect.

    Some of the companies selling products that contain dichlor and trichlor tend to minimize the issues with CYA. If they pointed out the problems with CYA you wouldn't buy their products. CYA levels above about 80 or 90 can be very problematic, regardless of what they say.

    You should post all of your water test numbers. We can give you much more specific advice if you post your numbers.
    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

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Green swampy water for 2 weeks

    my most recent test is from aquacheck test strips

    Total hardness 250
    TC 10 (max)
    FC 10 (max)
    PH 7.8 - 8.4 based on color it was between these colors
    TA 180 - 240 "
    CYA 150 - 300 "
    16 x 24 Kayak Pool - on gound / above ground
    11,500 gallons
    New 1.5 hp Columbia (?) pump
    New Sand Filter
    Formerly had 1hp pump Sta Rite cartridge filter with
    Pool Frog chlorinator (turned off as of 7/25)

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