AG with algae since May, TFP since July, cloudy

cricrina888

Member
Jul 11, 2022
17
Tucson
Hello! I have been reading up on TFP and trying all the advice on the app and various posts. I need help please. Feel like I may be missing something.

I have an 8,000 gallon above-ground pool. Purchased with my house in November 2021. (See pictures.) I assumed I could just hire a pool company to help service but after calling dozens of companies, no luck.

Husband was taking care of it and seemed to be doing well until he left for a weekend fishing trip mid-May. Pool turned dark green.

He tried everything the pool store recommended for weeks (May & June) without success. CYA was through the roof, we pumped out half the pool to lower that. Weeks later, hundreds of dollars later, frustrated me started looking up YouTube videos. One video by an “AG expert” says to add 3x shock. Did it. Had some mild cloudiness but mostly clear, could see the bottom.

Had pool party 7/9/22. Turned off pump for party.

Husband was concerned about the water pump running 24/7 for weeks (starting around early July). We left it at its usual 2-hr run time twice a day. Pool turns into a swamp.

Tired of spending money, I lost confidence in pool store’s advice. Left pool alone a couple days while I continued trying to understand more about our issue. Pool smells like fish. I find TFP and order my own test kit.

Kit arrived a few days before a planned trip, 7/15, but started SLAM immediately. Drain pool immediately bc CYA was crazy high. Got CYA to 30 and Ph to 7.5 using dry acid. TA 90.

7/20, left to trip and rely on husband to continue SLAM process. However, he only checks pool once a day. So FC not consistently at 12FC. However, on 7/21 the pool turns blue.

I returned 7/25 and proceed SLAM, checking consistently but I work so check at least 3-4x a day only.

Pool has a blue cloud that won’t go away and we can’t see the bottom of the pool. I took out the ladder and it was disgusting. Have not pit it back in.

Based on my limited math skills, I am losing about .67FC/hr. My CC is .5 (went down from 1 after I took out the ladder).

Ph is still 7.5
TA 90
CYA 30

Just had husband run to Ace to pick up some DE.

Just ordered phosphate kit. Should I treat it for phosphate anyway?

Should I just keep at it for another week and see what happens?

Is my pump going to die? It’s been running 24/7 for so many weeks now.

Thanks for all of the advice!
 

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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
19,331
Evans, Georgia
Hello Cricrina, welcome to the TFP forums :)
-Are you using Liquid Chlorine of good strength to raise your FC?
-Do you test your FC then add as much Liquid Chlorine to the pool that PoolMath says to get up to the required level? (12ppm FC for 30ppm CYA)
-Are you brushing at least once per day??

Pumps are actually fine running 24/7. What hurts pumps most is the turning on/ off procedure.

When did you last check your CYA level? Confirm it is 30ppm ok? Normally during a SLAM procedure you only test FC, but I just want to be sure your CYA is just 30ppm.

What have your FC levels been when you check?

Maddie :flower:
 

cricrina888

Member
Jul 11, 2022
17
Tucson
Thank you for tour response! I also forgot to add we’ve had rain most days. Monsoon season. Here are my answers:

-Are you using Liquid Chlorine of good strength to raise your FC? I am buying liquid chlorine at Walmart, 10%
-Do you test your FC then add as much Liquid Chlorine to the pool that PoolMath says to get up to the required level? Definitely — I am obsessed. A few times have added a little extra to account for time I can’t test hourly.
-Are you brushing at least once per day? Brushing and/or vacuuming (by hand) at least once a day.
-When was the last time you backwashed your filter? For sure Friday evening, 7/29
-How high is your pressure? 18 (just took a picture)
-When did you last check your CYA level? 7/28 and just now. Just now read at 35ppm.

Here are some of my recent notes

7/31 2:15pm
CYA 35

7/31 1:25pm
FC 8.5
CC .5

7/31 11:45am
FC 8.5
CC .5
Ph 7.5

7/31 6:45pm
FC 10.5
CC .5
TC 11
Calcium 125ppm

7/30 10:33pm
FC 11ppm

7/30 5:43pm
FC 8.5ppm

7/30 3:43pm
FC 9ppm

7/30 1:55pm
FC 7ppm
Ph 7.5

7/30 8:35am
FC 5.5ppm
I added a full gallon even though I was only supposed to add 67oz chlorine., so 61oz over recommended amount.

7/30 7:15am
FC 6ppm
CC .5ppm
TC 6.5
Ph 7.5
TA 90
 

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Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
1,875
Knoxville, TN
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60
Thank you for tour response! I also forgot to add we’ve had rain most days. Monsoon season. Here are my answers:

-Are you using Liquid Chlorine of good strength to raise your FC? I am buying liquid chlorine at Walmart, 10%
-Do you test your FC then add as much Liquid Chlorine to the pool that PoolMath says to get up to the required level? Definitely — I am obsessed. A few times have added a little extra to account for time I can’t test hourly.
-Are you brushing at least once per day? Brushing and/or vacuuming (by hand) at least once a day.
-When was the last time you backwashed your filter? For sure Friday evening, 7/29
-How high is your pressure? 18 (just took a picture)
-When did you last check your CYA level? 7/28 and just now. Just now read at 35ppm.

Here are some of my recent notes

7/31 2:15pm
CYA 35

7/31 1:25pm
FC 8.5
CC .5

7/31 11:45am
FC 8.5
CC .5
Ph 7.5

7/31 6:45pm
FC 10.5
CC .5
TC 11
Calcium 125ppm

7/30 10:33pm
FC 11ppm

7/30 5:43pm
FC 8.5ppm

7/30 3:43pm
FC 9ppm

7/30 1:55pm
FC 7ppm
Ph 7.5

7/30 8:35am
FC 5.5ppm
I added a full gallon even though I was only supposed to add 67oz chlorine., so 61oz over recommended amount.

7/30 7:15am
FC 6ppm
CC .5ppm
TC 6.5
Ph 7.5
TA 90
I can help ease the pain a little. Forget about the TC number. If you look at your results from 7/30, you’ll notice that FC+CC=TC. It’s just a math formula combining two measurements. So if you already have the two measurements, you don’t need TC. Doesn’t help with cloudiness, but at least saves you some time and effort not testing something that’s not ever needed.
 

cricrina888

Member
Jul 11, 2022
17
Tucson
I can help ease the pain a little. Forget about the TC number. If you look at your results from 7/30, you’ll notice that FC+CC=TC. It’s just a math formula combining two measurements. So if you already have the two measurements, you don’t need TC. Doesn’t help with cloudiness, but at least saves you some time and effort not testing something that’s not ever needed.
Yes, was just adding it in case I needed it for anything.
 
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Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
1,875
Knoxville, TN
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60
Save the phosphate stuff or return it. Your SLAM level for FC is 16ppm if your CYA is 40ppm. CYA is always reported in 10’s. So if it’s higher than 30 but less than 40, round up to 40.

I’d also avoid DE as long as you can. Some people think it helps and maybe it does as long as your filter doesn’t let it get blown back into the pool.

I also run my pump 24/7 all summer. Doesn’t hurt a thing, and will help the filter, but looks like you need more chlorine in the water.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
19,331
Evans, Georgia
Bperry said everything I would have. Thanks!

For future reference sand rarely ever needs changing unless some funky chemical like FLOC or clarifier has gummed it up. A good deep clean every couple of years is always a good idea.
 

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cricrina888

Member
Jul 11, 2022
17
Tucson
Save the phosphate stuff or return it. Your SLAM level for FC is 16ppm if your CYA is 40ppm. CYA is always reported in 10’s. So if it’s higher than 30 but less than 40, round up to 40.

I’d also avoid DE as long as you can. Some people think it helps and maybe it does as long as your filter doesn’t let it get blown back into the pool.

I also run my pump 24/7 all summer. Doesn’t hurt a thing, and will help the filter, but looks like you need more chlorine in the water.
Save the phosphate stuff or return it. Your SLAM level for FC is 16ppm if your CYA is 40ppm. CYA is always reported in 10’s. So if it’s higher than 30 but less than 40, round up to 40.

I’d also avoid DE as long as you can. Some people think it helps and maybe it does as long as your filter doesn’t let it get blown back into the pool.

I also run my pump 24/7 all summer. Doesn’t hurt a thing, and will help the filter, but looks like you need more chlorine in the water.
Thank you!
Bperry said everything I would have. Thanks!

For future reference sand rarely ever needs changing unless some funky chemical like FLOC or clarifier has gummed it up. A good deep clean every couple of years is always a good idea.
Thank you both for the input.

After draining before starting my SLAM, CYA was like 5 (according to pool store). I waited for TF100 kit before adding liquid stabilizer to get it to 30. In subsequent times that I checked CYA, it was closer to the 20, and I calculated it as maybe 25 or 28, so I added stabilizer to get it to 30. It sounds like at those levels, I could have assumed CYA at 30 and not added stabilizer. Correct?

So now because I recently (7/28) added stabilizer, I increased my CYA levels and my chlorine needs are higher. But that would only be the case for the last couple of days. Would those last couple of days with FC at 12 instead of 16 make that much of a difference so as to not reduce the cloudiness?

Or does anything else explain the lingering cloud? Like there was algae since May so there is so much dead stuff it’s going to take weeks to get rid of?

And thanks for the info on the sand. My husband changed it on advice from the pool store.
 

bertschb

Bronze Supporter
Dec 11, 2021
385
Arizona
Pool Size
13600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Would those last couple of days with FC at 12 instead of 16 make that much of a difference ...
I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.

One of the common threads I see here on the forum from people who struggle with algae for extended periods is they let their FC drop below SLAM minimums periodically during the SLAM process. FC of 12 is quite a bit lower than 16 so I'm thinking yes, it would probably make a difference.
 
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Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
1,875
Knoxville, TN
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60
Thank you!

Thank you both for the input.

After draining before starting my SLAM, CYA was like 5 (according to pool store). I waited for TF100 kit before adding liquid stabilizer to get it to 30. In subsequent times that I checked CYA, it was closer to the 20, and I calculated it as maybe 25 or 28, so I added stabilizer to get it to 30. It sounds like at those levels, I could have assumed CYA at 30 and not added stabilizer. Correct?

So now because I recently (7/28) added stabilizer, I increased my CYA levels and my chlorine needs are higher. But that would only be the case for the last couple of days. Would those last couple of days with FC at 12 instead of 16 make that much of a difference so as to not reduce the cloudiness?

Or does anything else explain the lingering cloud? Like there was algae since May so there is so much dead stuff it’s going to take weeks to get rid of?

And thanks for the info on the sand. My husband changed it on advice from the pool store.
From your pool logs above, your chlorine hasn’t been high enough to keep algae away and isn’t anything close to SLAM level. So it’s difficult to say, but if it’s been low for a while, it may take a while to clear up.

Take a look at the SLAM process page again. The steps to pass are:
1. Crystal clear water
2. Pass an overnight chlorine loss test
3. CC’s of 0.5ppm or less.

You can try #2 and and monitor #3 over the next few days to see how close to the end of your SLAM you are but with cloudy water it sounds like it’s not done yet and you still have stuff eating up your chlorine. Also remember the SLAM is a process and not finished in just a few days. Many can be up to several weeks long if you look through some of the posts of the really swampy ones.
 

bertschb

Bronze Supporter
Dec 11, 2021
385
Arizona
Pool Size
13600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
BTW, good job pulling the ladder out! The other common problem people have with slow SLAM processes (along with letting their FC drop below minimums) is not checking every nook and cranny in their pool for hidden algae. Ladders, behind lights, auto fill basin, etc. Any areas that don't get really good circulation of freshly chlorinated water are suspect.
 
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cricrina888

Member
Jul 11, 2022
17
Tucson
I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.

One of the common threads I see here on the forum from people who struggle with algae for extended periods is they let their FC drop below SLAM minimums periodically during the SLAM process. FC of 12 is quite a bit lower than 16 so I'm thinking yes, it would probably make a difference.
Thanks for the response! Eases my mind.
 

cricrina888

Member
Jul 11, 2022
17
Tucson
BTW, good job pulling the ladder out! The other common problem people have with slow SLAM processes (along with letting their FC drop below minimums) is not checking every nook and cranny in their pool for hidden algae. Ladders, behind lights, auto fill basin, etc. Any areas that don't get really good circulation of freshly chlorinated water are suspect.
That was something that I would wonder about when my CC would stay higher 1.5 or so after awhile. I kept thinking maybe then ladder has gunk in it. Then I read one of the posts talking about clear water, but some numbers weren’t right, and someone suggested removing the ladder. Had hubby do that immediately.
 

cricrina888

Member
Jul 11, 2022
17
Tucson
From your pool logs above, your chlorine hasn’t been high enough to keep algae away and isn’t anything close to SLAM level. So it’s difficult to say, but if it’s been low for a while, it may take a while to clear up.

Take a look at the SLAM process page again. The steps to pass are:
1. Crystal clear water
2. Pass an overnight chlorine loss test
3. CC’s of 0.5ppm or less.

You can try #2 and and monitor #3 over the next few days to see how close to the end of your SLAM you are but with cloudy water it sounds like it’s not done yet and you still have stuff eating up your chlorine. Also remember the SLAM is a process and not finished in just a few days. Many can be up to several weeks long if you look through some of the posts of the really swampy
From your pool logs above, your chlorine hasn’t been high enough to keep algae away and isn’t anything close to SLAM level. So it’s difficult to say, but if it’s been low for a while, it may take a while to clear up.

Take a look at the SLAM process page again. The steps to pass are:
1. Crystal clear water
2. Pass an overnight chlorine loss test
3. CC’s of 0.5ppm or less.

You can try #2 and and monitor #3 over the next few days to see how close to the end of your SLAM you are but with cloudy water it sounds like it’s not done yet and you still have stuff eating up your chlorine. Also remember the SLAM is a process and not finished in just a few days. Many can be up to several weeks long if you look through some of the posts of the really swampy ones.
Been looking forward to when I can finally do the overnight test but clearly I have some work to do. Glad I posted here. Thank you for all of the help!
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
4,312
Spring Valley, NY
One bit of advice going forward no more pool store advice, should you have a question just fire away as we cannot compete with pool store nonsense. The only dumb question you have is the one you're not asking. Also to note you're best off adding CYA granular via the sock method in front of the return because the liquid one can only be used in its entirety since most of the product is in the form of sludge on the bottom so you couldn't pour off half and count on it but you'd have to use it fully and rinse it out well to get the full product calculation.
 
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cricrina888

Member
Jul 11, 2022
17
Tucson
Oh that makes sense now. I couldn’t understand all the posts about ensuring to rinse the bottle well. I plan on using CYA granular. 👍🏼Yes, definitely realized the pool store was only interested selling product. That’s how I ended up here. Thank goodness!🙏🏼
 

cricrina888

Member
Jul 11, 2022
17
Tucson
Save the phosphate stuff or return it. Your SLAM level for FC is 16ppm if your CYA is 40ppm. CYA is always reported in 10’s. So if it’s higher than 30 but less than 40, round up to 40.

I’d also avoid DE as long as you can. Some people think it helps and maybe it does as long as your filter doesn’t let it get blown back into the pool.

I also run my pump 24/7 all summer. Doesn’t hurt a thing, and will help the filter, but looks like you need more chlorine
Hello Cricrina, welcome to the TFP forums :)
-Are you using Liquid Chlorine of good strength to raise your FC?
-Do you test your FC then add as much Liquid Chlorine to the pool that PoolMath says to get up to the required level? (12ppm FC for 30ppm CYA)
-Are you brushing at least once per day??

Pumps are actually fine running 24/7. What hurts pumps most is the turning on/ off procedure.

When did you last check your CYA level? Confirm it is 30ppm ok? Normally during a SLAM procedure you only test FC, but I just want to be sure your CYA is just 30ppm.

What have your FC levels been when you check?

Maddie :flower:
Thanks for all of your help. Wondering if I should be concerned about this little leak. See my video here.
I can help ease the pain a little. Forget about the TC number. If you look at your results from 7/30, you’ll notice that FC+CC=TC. It’s just a math formula combining two measurements. So if you already have the two measurements, you don’t need TC. Doesn’t help with cloudiness, but at least saves you some time and effort not testing something that’s not ever needed.
Thanks for all of your help. Pool os starting to clear up! Amazing! Wondering if I should be concerned about this little leak. See my photo here.
 

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