Algae has won the battle...help me win the WAR!

sqbagal

Member
Jun 29, 2017
23
Phoenix, AZ
First time poster, long time lurker :)

It's hot in AZ and my pool is out of commission. I'm posting my pool store results so you can see where I am while I wait on my TF-100 XL. I'm also attaching pictures. I had a DE filter when it was built in 2005 but it started to leak this year and had to be replaced. Loved that filter. My pool guy, who is(was?) a friend, recommended that I switch to sand. Well, I have and I am not a happy camper.

Filter was changed in March this year and my pool has been varying shades of green since. I just can't seem to get it clean, or rather the filter can't. Even though it is green and murky, I got in yesterday to really scrub the bottom with the vacuum...ick. The bottom is slimy/spongy...biofilm? And grosser still, when I really scrubbed, it gave almost a jacuzzi effect, bubbles percolated to the surface. At this point, I've spent enough on chemicals I could have paid for a plane ticket for one of you to come to AZ and fix this months ago.

FAC 5.0
TAC 5.0
CYA 60
TA 130
pH 7.7

Anything I can do while I wait for the test kit? I think it will be here by the weekend. The other problem is once it gets here, I will be leaving town again for two weeks and hoping not to be in the same predicament when I get back. Ugh!
 

Attachments

Husky25

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 1, 2015
520
"East of the River" CT
I sure hope those turtles are part of the pool floor and not actually sea creatures who have taken up residence in your water...:joker:...

The first issue that comes to mind is that you can't really trust the pool store test results, so it is difficult to recommend a shock level to "blindly" aim at for a SLAM.

On the other hand you can do a few things. First you could pour a gallon or two of chlorine a day into your pool (keeping the pump on 24/7) until your kit is delivered. Even if the LC is 12.5%, it will only raise your FC by about 6ppm and will be quickly consumed by the organic matter, so there is little risk of doing any damage. The point is to try and get out in front of further growth. 2nd: you can brush and skim the water to take as much large matter (organic or otherwise) out of the pool. 3rd: Vacuum. 4th, brush up on SLAM procedures (See what I did there? ;)). When you get your kit arrives, do a panel of tests, post results, and the fine people here can help you proceed with a SLAM accordingly. Though if you are a long time lurker, I'm sure you've read dozens of threads of varying/similar situations as yours.

When do you leave for your trip? Is there anyone else who can take over where you leave off? It may make sense to not start a SLAM until you return.
 

sqbagal

Member
Jun 29, 2017
23
Phoenix, AZ
Ha! Turtles are part of the floor...frogs last week were not! I leave on July 21 and unless I can bribe a neighbor to do whatever needs to be done to it, it will be untended.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,932
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
We've seen worse here.

You're already doing what I would suggest first -- loosening and removing as much sludge from the pool as is possible. Vacuum blindly if you must -- you'll be grateful for the sand filter during this because it is the easiest to clean. You won't even have to get your hands dirty. Drop the garden hose in to raise the water level while you vacuum, and when the filter loads up, backwash.

Also working blind, you can give the pool one megadose of bleach to get it to shock level of 24. Maintaining it accurately won't be possible without a test kit, but with that shade of green, I suspect adding a couple jugs of bleach every day, or even twice a day, won't overload it. You can probably get it to the cloudy blue-grey stage before the test kit arrives.

When you can vacuum the whole pool without overloading the filter, and you havce a test kit to keep levels where they should be, then you can try Pool School - Add DE to a Sand Filter Hopefully you still have some leftovers. Only do this when you'll be around to watch the gauge, because the filter will load up in a big hurry.
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
..........Filter was changed in March this year and my pool has been varying shades of green since. I just can't seem to get it clean, or rather the filter can't.
Your filter is not a sanitizer, no filter is, and it is not the reason your pool is green. Your pool is green because your sanitizer (chlorine) level fell low enough to allow algae to flourish.

You also cannot expect a filter to kill algae, you need chlorine for that. Once the algae is dead, it will clump together making it easier for the filter to catch.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,932
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Thanks Husky25 and Richard320. Do I add bleach and chlorine? Or which one? Got to tell you, I've never heard of adding bleach to the pool. Clorox?
Either or. Store brand is fine. Just look for the % on the label. If they're ashamed to tell you how weak it is, don't buy it. They're exactly the same chemical, just different strengths. Off to Pool School with you! :whip:

Pool School - How to Chlorinate Your Pool
Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

And here's what you'll be doing once the kit arrives SLAM Process



Some lighter reading -- just scroll through and look at the pictures. Unless photobucket destroyed everything :(
 

Husky25

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 1, 2015
520
"East of the River" CT
As mentioned above: Bleach, Chlorine? 6 of one, half dozen of the other. The only difference is concentration. Check out this thread for best value on liquid chlorine in your area. Often times, it is not a pool store. Even if it is, some places may try to talk you out of the amount you'll need to buy, citing danger. However if you listen to Richard and the other fine folks offering their advice on this site, you'll be in safe hands regarding danger, real or mythological.
 

AimeeH

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Apr 2, 2012
2,028
Columbia SC
Wow. Your CYA could be much higher.......can you say which test kit you're using? I know the TF-100 only goes up to 100 so you could get a 100 reading when it's higher. That test also should be done in sunlight with your back to the sun. I stress this because an accurate CYA reading is a must to tell you which next steps to take and if that high, you probably want to drain some. Here are two links you need to read.

Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
Chlorine/CYA Chart
 

txnole

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 18, 2014
544
Amelia Island, FL
If your CYA is 100 (and it's probably not) then your FC is terribly low. You need to be MAINTAINING 13 in AZ at that CYA level. SLAM Level would be 39.

Chlorine / CYA Chart

How do you normally chlorinate? Pucks? IF so, your CYA is likely higher and the numbers above would get bumped up. If you chlorinate with liquid or another source, then your CYA is maybe/probably lower. Need a great CYA test. Photo the test and post.
 

kabutotx

Well-known member
May 17, 2016
205
Phoenix, AZ
For the CYA test use 50/50 mix of pool water and tap water. Test then take result and times by 2. I had to do this last year. My 50/50 test came out to 70 which gave me 140 CYA.

You then have 2 choices. Use a lot of bleach to SLAM using the Chlorine/CYA chart or wait till this winter and drain pool and start from scratch.
 

sqbagal

Member
Jun 29, 2017
23
Phoenix, AZ
Wow. Your CYA could be much higher.......can you say which test kit you're using? I know the TF-100 only goes up to 100 so you could get a 100 reading when it's higher. That test also should be done in sunlight with your back to the sun. I stress this because an accurate CYA reading is a must to tell you which next steps to take and if that high, you probably want to drain some. Here are two links you need to read.

Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
Chlorine/CYA Chart
Brand new TF-100. I tested again because the first test I did inside, but the test results is the same...100, maybe 95 if I close one eye.

- - - Updated - - -

If your CYA is 100 (and it's probably not) then your FC is terribly low. You need to be MAINTAINING 13 in AZ at that CYA level. SLAM Level would be 39.

Chlorine / CYA Chart

How do you normally chlorinate? Pucks? IF so, your CYA is likely higher and the numbers above would get bumped up. If you chlorinate with liquid or another source, then your CYA is maybe/probably lower. Need a great CYA test. Photo the test and post.
It isn't 100 because...??? Yes, usually pucks in the skimmer. If levels dip too far, I shock with Cal Hypo.

- - - Updated - - -

For the CYA test use 50/50 mix of pool water and tap water. Test then take result and times by 2. I had to do this last year. My 50/50 test came out to 70 which gave me 140 CYA.

You then have 2 choices. Use a lot of bleach to SLAM using the Chlorine/CYA chart or wait till this winter and drain pool and start from scratch.
Draining is a MAJOR issue where I live - septic system, so nowhere for the water to go except into the dirt lot behind my house and neighbors' yards. Did that a few years ago to get the waterfall redone and what a mess...hoping to avoid that somehow.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
6,543
Central MD
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
It isn't 100 because...??? .
This is because the test maxes out at 100. Therefore if you follow the 50/50 or dilution method in post 13 above it will give you a slightly larger margin of error but put the results in the middle of the readable range. You may be correct at 100, but since you are at the top, it's best to do the diluted test. Your CYA level is the key to your pool's health. Your pools proper FC level is entirely dependent on getting an accurate measurement of your CYA level.

There is now way to reduce CYA expect through draining and refilling. It's a harsh reality for many. Getting it down to 70-80 for an AZ pool is acceptable. Any higher and the required FC levels to SLAM are quite high.
 

sqbagal

Member
Jun 29, 2017
23
Phoenix, AZ
So, I'm back and ready to SLAM...almost. The pool obviously looks even worse than when I left but when I took new readings, CYA has dropped to zero. I've tested four times and each time the black dot doesn't disappear at all even with a full test tube of solution. PH was super high but I've added acid and it's now down to 7.2. Do I need to add stabilizer before I start adding bleach? Or can I start SLAMming and add stabilizer later?
 

sqbagal

Member
Jun 29, 2017
23
Phoenix, AZ
Exactly my thought! But I tested numerous times initially and kept getting the same high result and now testing again and getting zero. I was gone, but I know we had some huge rainstorms and I've backwashed a bunch of times and there's always evaporation with the auto leveler on...but a definite answer? Don't have it.

How did CYA go from 100 to zero in three weeks?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,895
Laughlin, NV
STOP!!! You most likely have the bacteria that attacks CYA. You now have ammonia. Here is the process.

Add enough chlorine to reach FC 10. Pump on. Test FC after 15 minutes. If below 5, repeat. Once FC holds between 7-10 after the 15 minutes, then add CYA and start your SLAM.

Good luck.