Algae prevention

shayy_1988

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2021
56
Miami
So, back in July I went through a algae problem which I was able to successfully overcome through SLAM. However, since then, I feel like it comes back so easily even though I have been making sure to keep the chlorine over the recommended levels for my CYA and I feel like I am constantly running the pump. There have been times here or there that it's not running for about 4-6 hours but overall it's always on.

This weekend, I left town for 4 days and put half a gallon of bleach prior to leaving. I let the pump run for 12 hours and had somebody come over once to re-run the pump and brush the bottom of the pool. When I came back, it was a green swamp. I am currently doing SLAM again but I am finding it overwhelming that I can't leave the pump off for even a day or two or go on vacation without coming back to a mess that can take a couple weeks to fix.

What does everybody do to prepare for a vacation or to prevent algae? I know I live in South Florida and the weather is either super hot and sunny or it's raining cats and dogs. I am soooo frustrated. I would honestly love to drain, give it a deep clean and refill but that is a mission in and of itself which flooded my yard and neighbors yard before. I do have a pump that connects to the sink to drain but that would take hours/days.
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
43,975
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
As you are not logging your data into Poolmath, it is difficult to see any trends in your testing / chemical additions.

If leaving the pool for several days, you must do what you can to be sure the FC does not drop below minimum for your CYA. Raise the FC to SLAM level before you leave, put a trichlor tablet in to a floating dispenser, get the neighbor to add some liquid chlorine, etc.
 

shayy_1988

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2021
56
Miami
As you are not logging your data into Poolmath, it is difficult to see any trends in your testing / chemical additions.

If leaving the pool for several days, you must do what you can to be sure the FC does not drop below minimum for your CYA. Raise the FC to SLAM level before you leave, put a trichlor tablet in to a floating dispenser, get the neighbor to add some liquid chlorine, etc.
Yeah, to be honest I do not add anything except for bleach into the pool every time it gets close to minimum FC level.

I didn't even think about using the floater, so I will try that next time. I think the biggest hit here is the pool filter not running while gone. When I was gone for a week and had somebody stay at my place, they ran the pump for 10 hours a day, brushed the pool daily and added bleach once and I came back to a crystal clear pool. So it's definitely when there is lack of filtration/brushing.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
43,975
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
With an ABG pool, the weak link is the pump/filter and circulation. Then if it rains without the pump running the fresh water sits on top of the pool water and exacerbates the issue.

Try to keep your FC at 10% of your CYA level. Never let the FC get anywhere near minimum.
 
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shayy_1988

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2021
56
Miami
With an ABG pool, the weak link is the pump/filter and circulation. Then if it rains without the pump running the fresh water sits on top of the pool water and exacerbates the issue.

Try to keep your FC at 10% of your CYA level. Never let the FC get anywhere near minimum.
I heard while I was gone for these 4 days, it rained non stop. So definitely didn't help.

Appreciate the suggestion!
 

TexEdmond

Gold Supporter
Jun 16, 2021
511
Edmond, OK
Pool Size
25500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
What does everybody do to prepare for a vacation or to prevent algae?
I've left my pool unattended a few times recently for multiple days, once before SWG and once after. The first time I brought the pool up to SLAM levels, filled the tab feeder and put a few tabs in a floater. Second time, I dropped the pH, put a few tabs in the chlorinator and bumped my SWG up a little higher. With a pool as small as yours, I totally understand the cost benefit of SWG might not be in your favor, but you also might consider some kind of automatic chlorine dosing system. Draining and refilling is a complete hassle, but it might be worth seeing if it's legal / ethical to bring the drain tube out to another part of the yard or find a storm drain? I don't know, just spitballing ideas. Sorry to hear you're having issues.

Another thing you might consider: if you've got somebody willing to come by and run the pump / brush, have ready-made bottles of pre-measured chlorine and ask them to slowly pour the chlorine in front of the return before they brush. Label them by day and leave them prominently displayed with no other chems around for them to get confused. I saw a thread recently where someone's volunteer pool helper glugged nearly a whole bottle of the wrong chem into the owner's pool... yikes.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
10,784
NY
+1. With your regular testing (hint HINT), you will totally know you are needing 1/2 gallon (?) of bleach per day that month. Lay them out easily for your helper to find (it could even be a neighborhood kid who wants $50, or his dad who likes 12 packs :ROFLMAO:).

a 6 day trip needs 6 half gallons (or whatevs the daily loss has been). Boom. Perfect pool upon arriving home.
 

TexEdmond

Gold Supporter
Jun 16, 2021
511
Edmond, OK
Pool Size
25500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
it could even be a neighborhood kid who wants $50, or his dad who likes 12 packs
That kid is gouging you, bro. 12 packs are WAAAAY cheaper, unless he's some kind of IPA snob...

a 6 day trip needs 6 half gallons (or whatevs the daily loss has been). Boom. Perfect pool upon arriving home.
Also consider if you put it at SLAM levels and know your daily FC loss, you could have someone come by every other day and still likely not fall anywhere near recommended levels or minimum.
 
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shayy_1988

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2021
56
Miami
I've left my pool unattended a few times recently for multiple days, once before SWG and once after. The first time I brought the pool up to SLAM levels, filled the tab feeder and put a few tabs in a floater. Second time, I dropped the pH, put a few tabs in the chlorinator and bumped my SWG up a little higher. With a pool as small as yours, I totally understand the cost benefit of SWG might not be in your favor, but you also might consider some kind of automatic chlorine dosing system. Draining and refilling is a complete hassle, but it might be worth seeing if it's legal / ethical to bring the drain tube out to another part of the yard or find a storm drain? I don't know, just spitballing ideas. Sorry to hear you're having issues.

Another thing you might consider: if you've got somebody willing to come by and run the pump / brush, have ready-made bottles of pre-measured chlorine and ask them to slowly pour the chlorine in front of the return before they brush. Label them by day and leave them prominently displayed with no other chems around for them to get confused. I saw a thread recently where someone's volunteer pool helper glugged nearly a whole bottle of the wrong chem into the owner's pool... yikes.
I’m actually in contract for a new in ground pool build now so investing more in this one is out of my league. The first time I tried to drain a portion of the pool I looked for a storm drain it was too far. The regular sewage drain is across the street but the hose didn’t reach and if I did that I would prob do it overnight. Although everybody has ring cameras 😂

Also, the first time the person stayed at my house for 5 days just a couple of weeks ago I left the amount of bleach and gave them directions. I came back to a perfect pool. But this time it was the same person so I didn’t want to ask them to come by multiple times during these 4 days. So they came once and I did the bleach prior to leaving.

I just bought this house in may so I really don’t know anybody in the neighborhood yet. heck I don’t think I’ve even seen any kids nearby 😂 but that would be genius!
 
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shayy_1988

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2021
56
Miami
+1. With your regular testing (hint HINT), you will totally know you are needing 1/2 gallon (?) of bleach per day that month. Lay them out easily for your helper to find (it could even be a neighborhood kid who wants $50, or his dad who likes 12 packs :ROFLMAO:).

a 6 day trip needs 6 half gallons (or whatevs the daily loss has been). Boom. Perfect pool upon arriving home.
Haha! I’ll admit I have slacked on regular testing. I had ran out of the chlorine testing reagent but coming back to this, encouraged me to purchase a replacement on Amazon. So now I’m testing a few times a day.
 

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TexEdmond

Gold Supporter
Jun 16, 2021
511
Edmond, OK
Pool Size
25500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
You might not need to have daily dosing if you raised FC up to SLAM and put a few pucks in a floater. It'll sneak your CYA up a smidge, but it'll also help a little keeping pH from ballooning while you're gone. That's TFP's dirty little secret... a bunch of us have a little bit of Trichlor hidden away on the chem shelf because for all the long-term damage it does for the pool chemistry, it's supposed to be pretty good in the short term for keeping the water algae free.

As you get better with your FC burn rate, you might even be able to get by with a single visit and pre-measure enough chlorine to get back up to SLAM. "Hey, Steve, I hate to ask, but if I could throw your kid a couple bucks to stop by next thursday, dump the skimmer filter, slowly glug this one jug into the pool and zip over things with the brush after he's done, that'd really help me out a bunch. Shouldn't take 20 minutes." I'm lucky though, because both my next door neighbors are named Steve, so my chances are better at getting a "yes."
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
10,784
NY
Haha! I’ll admit I have slacked on regular testing
We taught you better than that. I was there and saw it with MY own eyes. 30 lashes with a wet noodle !!!!! Rules are rules. Prepare the pasta.
So now I’m testing a few times a day
Morning and evening is plenty until you get back on track. Unless your CYA is low and the FC could burn off in a few hours. Then 10A, 2P and evening-ish is good.