Algaecide and getting rid of Algae in Pool, most effective and economical?

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jonnyrockt

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Aug 25, 2015
14
las vegas, nevada
I'm confused. Why is algaecide not recommended to use? Recently, I just started for a few months trial using Home depots algae 50% and it's been great. My pools never been shinier. 13% copper content, at 2ozs a week in a 10k (128000 ounce) pool, it would take 1000 uses or (weeks) before it gets to even .2 ppm. I hear it takes over 1ppm before it starts to turn peoples hair blue or green. Am I missing something? It would take years, unless you dump a huge quantity of it. Plus after 3-5 years, a pool water refill /change so the count starts all over. Maybe some more people with experience in this can advise.

Algaecide seems to me more economical as well. 2 oz of algaecide a week is about 1 dollar. It's also has a lot of room for error, I don't have to add extra chlorine to maintain a Chlorine level above CYA min level is a constant pain and cost way more than a dollar a week for the extra chlorine from burnoff.

My Pool:
10k, Plaster pool
CYA 30-40
PH 7.5-8.0
FC: 3-4
CC: 0
CH: 400
Alkalinity: 70-80
Runtime: 8 Hours

I've been using Pool math for 4 years and between Mr. SPL on youtube, it's been great.

Honestly, now that i'm using algaecide, and it's working so great, I might try going off of using liquid chlorine daily. Since CYA is irrelavent using algaecide, I can use 2 pucks a week and not care until I refill the pool in a few years. Before I do this though, thoughts? Effects of long term use?
 

Msch99

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I am not an expert, but I THINK the issue could be that algaecide is not a sanitizer. It may keep algae away, but will have no effect on bacteria etc.
 

Texas Splash

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JR, algaecides have their place here at TFP. They are commonly used as a preventive treatment either at winter closing or specific processes like Ascorbic Acid treatments when the FC level must be low. When they are used, we recommend a Polyquat 60 product. Experience has shown that we tend to see problems when copper reaches the 0.3 ppm threshold. The pool industry advertises numerous products which "claim" to do several things without disclosing their side effects. We know that pool water must be sanitized, not just for cosmetic clarity but also for sanitary reasons. For TFP residential pools, chlorine is the #1 product to ensure your water is sanitary for swimmers.

As a pool owner, you are ultimately free to maintain your pool as you wish. But if you haven't seen this article, you should:
 

JohnT

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Apr 4, 2007
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Algaecide masks underlying unsafe water and if you use copper algaecide you will end up with stains and swimmers with green hair.

We don’t recommend algaecide because it isn’t needed and it doesn’t change the amount of chlorine used. We recommend against copper algaecide because it causes problems.
 

Donldson

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13% copper content, at 2ozs a week in a 10k (128000 ounce) pool, it would take 1000 uses or (weeks) before it gets to even .2 ppm. I hear it takes over 1ppm before it starts to turn peoples hair blue or green. Am I missing something?
Yes, you are missing tons. Copper doesn't offer noticeable algae prevention until it is around 0.2 ppm. Copper begins causing noticeable side effects and staining starting at 0.3 ppm. So despite your placebo effect opinion of your water quality, you don't yet have enough copper in your water to do much of anything. And once you do you will be within a couple doses of problems.

You've been on the site for 4 years. Have you not seen the countless posts of people dealing with copper staining? Do you think that those people had to have dumped in thousands of doses before they had problems? Have you not seen the countless posts of people using pucks and algaecide that still got algae? Do you believe that clear water equals sanitary and safe water?

Or really, my biggest question, is why after 4 years of a perfectly trouble free pool have you decided it's awful and time to do something that might screw things up?

And if you are curious, yes, I am 100% against the use of copper in any pool. Copper is the second worst thing you can put in a pool, IMO. It accomplishes nothing that other chemicals could accomplish with fewer and less severe side effects. Not that any of those other chemicals are needed or recommended either, but they work so much better with so much less potential problems I can't imagine how anyone with a decent grasp on water chemistry would pick copper to experiment with over any of those other options.
 
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MikeSTL

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Jun 23, 2018
20
Weldon Spring, MO
I'm confused. Why is algaecide not recommended to use? Recently, I just started for a few months trial using Home depots algae 50% and it's been great. My pools never been shinier. 13% copper content, at 2ozs a week in a 10k (128000 ounce) pool, it would take 1000 uses or (weeks) before it gets to even .2 ppm. I hear it takes over 1ppm before it starts to turn peoples hair blue or green. Am I missing something? It would take years, unless you dump a huge quantity of it. Plus after 3-5 years, a pool water refill /change so the count starts all over. Maybe some more people with experience in this can advise.

Algaecide seems to me more economical as well. 2 oz of algaecide a week is about 1 dollar. It's also has a lot of room for error, I don't have to add extra chlorine to maintain a Chlorine level above CYA min level is a constant pain and cost way more than a dollar a week for the extra chlorine from burnoff.

Honestly, now that i'm using algaecide, and it's working so great, I might try going off of using liquid chlorine daily. Since CYA is irrelavent using algaecide, I can use 2 pucks a week and not care until I refill the pool in a few years. Before I do this though, thoughts? Effects of long term use?
I actually use a copper algaecide. So, I figured I'd respond to this. I LOVE the results I've gotten from it for many of the same reasons you've noted. My mustard algae is a thing of the past. In fact, ALL algae is a thing of the past. My chlorine is MUCH more stable. So, I am saving a ton of money on chlorine. Never need to shock or SLAM. It's just perfectly clear water all the time. This year's pool opening was the easiest I've ever had. Also, no green hair, staining, etc. So, I really do like it. HOWEVER, I test before (and after) I add it. I realize many TFPers are able to get this kind of experience on chlorine alone. I cannot.

I'm not sure which one you are using. But, if it truly is a 13% elemental, you'd better rework your math. That would make it almost twice as strong as the product I use (7%). At 2 ozs a week of a 13% elemental in a 10K pool, you're adding about .2 ppm per week.

I target a level of .2 ppm in my pool. And, I only need to add some a couple times per season. I've found the copper test kit to give very consistent results. If I add what should be 0.05ppm worth of copper, that's exactly what it will show afterward. The algaecide label directions are absurd. On the product I have, it basically wants you to add what would be 0.1 ppm every 2 weeks. That's about what the copper level drops over the course of a whole season. Ridiculous!
 
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jonnyrockt

Member
Aug 25, 2015
14
las vegas, nevada
I actually use a copper algaecide. So, I figured I'd respond to this. I LOVE the results I've gotten from it for many of the same reasons you've noted. My mustard algae is a thing of the past. In fact, ALL algae is a thing of the past. My chlorine is MUCH more stable. So, I am saving a ton of money on chlorine. Never need to shock or SLAM. It's just perfectly clear water all the time. This year's pool opening was the easiest I've ever had. Also, no green hair, staining, etc. So, I really do like it. HOWEVER, I test before (and after) I add it. I realize many TFPers are able to get this kind of experience on chlorine alone. I cannot.

I'm not sure which one you are using. But, if it truly is a 13% elemental, you'd better rework your math. That would make it almost twice as strong as the product I use (7%). At 2 ozs a week of a 13% elemental in a 10K pool, you're adding about .2 ppm per week.

I target a level of .2 ppm in my pool. And, I only need to add some a couple times per season. I've found the copper test kit to give very consistent results. If I add what should be 0.05ppm worth of copper, that's exactly what it will show afterward. The algaecide label directions are absurd. On the product I have, it basically wants you to add what would be 0.1 ppm every 2 weeks. That's about what the copper level drops over the course of a whole season. Ridiculous!
Right, totally agreed Mike. Your math is right
I did input some erroneous math and here's some corrections. Home depots Algaecide 50% is 3.3% metallic content (effectively on the label), so it's actually half the 7% you are using and the label instruction only advised 1.5 ounces for 10k gallon pool. Based on 3.3% instead of (13%) instead of .2ppm, I guess divide that by 4. so i'm adding about .05ppm i suppose based on your calculation.

So instead of following the label, what do you recommend Mike? Adding .05ppm every few weeks?

I don't find a lot of resources out on how much maximum copper ppm in pool before problems start arising (ie green hair, stains etc). I see things like .2-.4ppm is ideal, as Donaldson mentioned, but after using almost 24 ozs (2/3 of the bottle) I'm probably at over that ppm and i don't see any staining or problems yet. I was wondering do you know when problems will start arising? I read somewhere online 1ppm is where problems start. Do you think that's accurate and do you see any charts or graphs with some mathematical basis? Fish aqauriums seem to go all the way up to 4ppm. I figure I can also use polyquat in rotation at some point.

Donaldson, yes, I'm happy with TFP because of all the Math, guides and charts as it has provided a lot of substance. But so far, with my trial, Algaecide is one thing i'm finding I disagree on so far (and maybe there's good reason NOT to use it, so that's why I'm trying to figure it out and ask the TFP forum and pool experts) because I don't find any indepth articles on it regarding it's use.

And as I briefly alluded to, I was getting good results but not as good as the results I'm having with Algaecide. After dispensing Chlorine daily in my pool, it's a pain. Second, the rapid burnoff at some point falls below the required ppm. Having to maintain the ppm, there's significant overuse of Chlorine, which is NOT at all cost effective. But moreover failing to maintain that ppm, the pool walls will feel slightly slippery and I get some algae spots which i have to spot treat or Slam the pool (which is even more cost ineffective). Slamming the pool does not get into the deep holes either and I still get slight residual slimyness. Chlorine just degrades too fast, it's not easily maintainable at the ppm and has no room margin for error if it falls under. I don't see myself dumping chlorine in my pool twice a day. Seems Chlorine is more effective as a disinfectant than an Algae killer.

With algaecide it's one and done for the week and cheap.
 
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JohnT

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Right, totally agreed Mike. Your math is right
I did input some erroneous math and here's some corrections. Home depots Algaecide 50% is 3.3% metallic content (effectively on the label), so it's actually half the 7% you are using and the label instruction only advised 1.5 ounces for 10k gallon pool. Based on 3.3% instead of (13%) instead of .2ppm, I guess divide that by 4. so i'm adding about .05ppm i suppose based on your calculation.

So instead of following the label, what do you recommend Mike? Adding .05ppm every few weeks?

I don't find a lot of resources out on how much maximum copper ppm in pool before problems start arising (ie green hair, stains etc). I see things like .2-.4ppm is ideal, as Donaldson mentioned, but after using almost 24 ozs (2/3 of the bottle) I'm probably at over that ppm and i don't see any staining or problems yet. I was wondering do you know when problems will start arising? I read somewhere online 1ppm is where problems start. Do you think that's accurate and do you see any charts or graphs with some mathematical basis? Fish aqauriums seem to go all the way up to 4ppm. I figure I can also use polyquat in rotation at some point.

Donaldson, yes, I'm happy with TFP because of all the Math, guides and charts as it has provided a lot of substance. But so far, with my trial, Algaecide is one thing i'm finding I disagree on so far (and maybe there's good reason NOT to use it, so that's why I'm trying to figure it out and ask the TFP forum and pool experts) because I don't find any indepth articles on it regarding it's use.

And as I briefly alluded to, I was getting good results but not as good as the results I'm having with Algaecide. After dispensing Chlorine daily in my pool, it's a pain. Second, the rapid burnoff at some point falls below the required ppm. Having to maintain the ppm, there's significant overuse of Chlorine, which is NOT at all cost effective. But moreover failing to maintain that ppm, the pool walls will feel slightly slippery and I get some algae spots which i have to spot treat or Slam the pool (which is even more cost ineffective). Slamming the pool does not get into the deep holes either and I still get slight residual slimyness. Chlorine just degrades too fast, it's not easily maintainable at the ppm and has no room margin for error if it falls under. I don't see myself dumping chlorine in my pool twice a day. Seems Chlorine is more effective as a disinfectant than an Algae killer.

With algaecide it's one and done for the week and cheap.
You are missing a huge point here. Using algaecide like you are doing masks the fact that your water is not safe to swim. Chlorine serves both as an algaecide and a sanitizer. If you get algae, your chlorine level is too low for swimming because there isn’t enough to prevent the transfer of pathogens. No amount of algaecide will make the water safe even if it keeps the water crystal clear. This is the fundamental reason we don’t recommend regular algaecide use during swimming season.
 

Donldson

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Donaldson, yes, I'm happy with TFP because of all the Math, guides and charts as it has provided a lot of substance. But so far, with my trial, Algaecide is one thing i'm finding I disagree on so far (and maybe there's good reason NOT to use it, so that's why I'm trying to figure it out and ask the TFP forum and pool experts) because I don't find any indepth articles on it regarding it's use.
Spelled my name wrong.

That you seemingly ignored everything everyone said except for the one person saying what you want to believe shows that you are not interested at all in data but just getting someone to back you up. As I said, anybody with the most basic grasp of pool chemistry could come up with a much better solution for making water less hospitable to algae. I can think of one off the top of my head that not only would not risk staining but also bring additional benefits to the water quality.

There are of course no articles on the use of copper because WE DON'T USE COPPER. Period. Full Stop. TFP doesn't write articles on bad pool care.

You do what you want with your pool, but if you want to promote the use of copper in a pool then you are in the wrong place.
 
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duraleigh

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+1 what Donldson said. There is certainly more than one way to care for a pool and anyone is welcome to care for theirs the way they think is best.

But you are in error trying to teach us your way. The TFP methods have been around since somewhere around 2004 and they work time after time pool after pool. We will stick with what we know to be true and what we know to be untrue.
 

jonnyrockt

Member
Aug 25, 2015
14
las vegas, nevada
Tex and Jn made a good good points and I just read the article that was written. I do see the importance of maintaining chlorine levels and before the rude interjection, I was about to say it makes sense. But aesthetically, its nice to have a pool that is free of algae, so why can't both be used in conjunction? I can still "try" to maintain liquid chlorine levels daily.
 

Msch99

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Jun 11, 2018
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Verona, MO
Jonny,
I shouldn't poke the bear, but just curious.
Why is it worth the effort to add algaecide, yet only "try" to keep FC levels up, which prevent algae in the first place?
 

MikeSTL

Member
Jun 23, 2018
20
Weldon Spring, MO
So instead of following the label, what do you recommend Mike? Adding .05ppm every few weeks?
I wouldn't regularly add it. Just test it regularly - around once a month or so. And, you won't really be adding it very often. From my experience, the 0.15 level or above seems to provide rock-solid protection. The protection seems to weaken a little below 0.1. So, I think 0.2 is a good, safe target that is HIGHLY effective. Think of it more like CYA in that it stays around for a long time and you don't want too much of it. I've read enough bad things about it. Therefore, I think if you are going to use it, you really need to test it. And, I wouldn't rely on pool store testing for something this critical.
You are missing a huge point here. Using algaecide like you are doing masks the fact that your water is not safe to swim. Chlorine serves both as an algaecide and a sanitizer. If you get algae, your chlorine level is too low for swimming because there isn’t enough to prevent the transfer of pathogens. No amount of algaecide will make the water safe even if it keeps the water crystal clear. This is the fundamental reason we don’t recommend regular algaecide use during swimming season.
Actually, I completely disagree with this point. The way you know the water is safe is by TESTING the level of FC. The appearance of the water tells you nothing about whether the water is safe. And, this has nothing to do with if you are using copper or not. You can have a clear pool without any chlorine whether you are using copper or not.

However, if you want to make this point, I think I can make an argument in favor of a copper protected pool. A copper protected pool will have a more stable chlorine level. And, it is less likely to have all its chlorine depleted from an algae bloom. The algae bloom is simply prevented from occurring in the first place. In the non-copper protected pool, your chlorine is likely to be overwhelmed by on-coming bloom before you have any visible signs. Thus, you have an unsafe pool while you are waiting for the algae to appear. Whereas, the copper protected pool is more likely to maintain its chlorine at a safe level and avoid the whole situation.

Again, I don't really agree with either argument. You can't rely on the appearance of the pool. You need to TEST.
 

Texas Splash

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Been a while since I visited this thread. I see it's gotten a bit exciting - and moved. :poke: :rant::geek: I went through all the work to type this so I wanted to post it anyways. No worries though. As long as we can pass info back & forth without pitchforks we'll be fine. 👿 So my final thoughts. We all know that over time, if water is not exchanged, copper levels can increase and become an issue - for some pools. For those who do the math or don't use much, they may not see the side effects (i.e. staining). JR, if you change water every year or two due to elevating CH levels in the valley, you may get away with it. In general, we at TFP don't want any pool to have metals in it if we can help it, but some people don't mind the risk. Something else I don't think was mentioned is chlorine's effect on algaecides. Even with a TFP-recommended algaecide like Polyquat 60, it degrades quicker with chlorine. That's why for pools that close in the winter, they let the FC fall back to normal if they SLAM at closing before adding the Poly. Now I suspect the whole purpose of your intent to use/try an algaecide in hopes of having a lower FC level, but remember that chlorine is the pool industry's staple for sanitation. You should always follow the FC/CYA Chart. Same discussion could apply to those who use phosphate removers in hopes of maintaining a lower FC level. Again, not a TFP-recommended practice for most because these practices cost additional money and can jeopardize properly sanitized water, but some owners elect to use it. Yet another reason why at TFP we don't advocate pool store potions at $60 a bottle which in most cases never seem to work anyways.

Like Dave said, in the end, each pool owner makes their own informed decision on what they want to put in the water. Whichever way you go, we hope you enjoy your pool. That's #1. TFP will always be about simple products that are readily available, inexpensive, reliable, tried & true for years. Entertaining discussion gents.
 

jonnyrockt

Member
Aug 25, 2015
14
las vegas, nevada
First, I apologize to the community, not the way I wanted to jump in by ruffling feathers. Msc, i'm not a bear. I just felt whatever I was asking was just unfairly shut down. I always viewed TFP, first and foremost, as a place for "home diy"ers to share their experiences, especially I think I deserve that after religiously following the perscribed TFP way for 2-3 years. I'm sure there are people that jump on here trying to promote misleading products or misinformation, too much of that on the internet. If people read my comments though, I'm just a home user with some questions. My feeling is, whatever you don't want people to use, you ought to educate people even more rather than subject avoidance. So thanks to all those who took the time to explain, esp Tex and Mike.

I do get what people are saying here from both sides. Algaecide makes your pool nice but you still need the min chlorine to kill bacteria, pathogens etc, and it creates staining problems. My question is, I know its true, but I don't swim 24 hours a day, so instead of trying to maintain an FC level constantly to kill algae, if the purpose is to kill pathogens, maybe I can just pour chlorine in before I swim, maintain less of a chlorine level requirement daily, or maybe use a puck here and there. The reason is purely cost effectiveness. While Chlorine has both disinfectant and algae killing ability, Chlorine is not cost effective to maintain algae prevention. For example,

Msc (this may answer your question too), I may be doing something wrong still, so do correct me if I am. Every morning 7 AM, I dump about 26 -40 ozs of chlorine in the pool which brings FC to 2-3.5, (probably a little more since there's residual FC from yesterday). That's the min FC required at 30 CYA. you can find my pool test results in my first post. What i'm finding is the chlorine isn't enough to prevent slimy walls (non-visible algae growth), my guess is there's burnoff and it falls below the min ppm to effectively prevent ALL algae. I can up the amount to 40-50 ozs to about 3.5 ppm, but that's going through 1 bottle of liquid chlorine every 3 days and at 4.00 a bottle, it's 8 dollars a week, roughly. While it only cost 1 dollar to prevent algae with an algaecide. With mikes formula, it's 1 dollar every 4 weeks, which I will try to see if that works.

I dunno, man, that's just what i'm getting at. But then like Tex said, you still have to change water every 2 years, so I guess that kind of evens out the chlorine cost too.
 

frogabog

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Perhaps you've answered your own question. You bring it back to minimum'ish every morning. That means your pool sits below minimum overnight every day. I feel that chlorine does it's best work overnight, with no sun to burn it off it has all night to be at target, and won't fall below minimum during the day under normal conditions (no heavy bather loads).

Even with algaecide, your method doesn't have much of a chance to kill algae, much less to kill pathogens. 2-3.5ppm during the day is going to burn off easily to below minimum well before the end of the day. And then it sits for many hours below minimum. With a CYA of 40, you should never fall below 3. With your method, you're expecting .5ppm to last during the sun and with swimmers all day, which is clearly not enough to account for burn off, much less sanitizing.

Adding chlorine to reach target at night rather than adding to minimum in the morning will solve both your algae and sanitizing problems. Sure, it costs money, but a safe and algae free pool is a good reason to spend a little $, and as noted you won't need to drain and refill either.
 

YippeeSkippy

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Most of us don't change our water routinely.... rarely in fact! So we can't say that is the solution across the board.

But knowing what you're putting in your pool and what it will do (and might do), only putting into your pool the chems which it needs (to save money, to save time and trouble and minimize risks from side effects) along with testing is the basis of TFP.

Since you've been made aware of the risks vs rewards of your methods, fine. You've weighed your options and chosen. That's all we can hope for- that you're aware.

Good luck with your pool. I'm glad it looks pretty..... but I doubt I wanna swim in it <shrug>

Maddie :flower:
 

duraleigh

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But then like Tex said, you still have to change water every 2 years,
Who is "Tex".....Texas Splash? I don't believe he said that. It is absolutely not true.

You do not have a grasp of the intent of chlorine and how it is made effective in your pool. Dosing a little chlorine in before you swim is silly. You must maintain a residual chlorine level to protect your pool and keep it algae free.
Algaecide makes your pool nice
No it doesn't. It is an effective "preventer" of algae before it gets established..........it has nothing to do with "nice" and that makes me unsure of what you think it is that algaecides do

My feeling is, whatever you don't want people to use, you ought to educate people even more rather than subject avoidance.
Sorry, but that's silly again. Teaching you what not to do is akin to teaching you NOT to read.
We teach what we know works for a scientific fact and is anecdotally proven over 12-15 years in hundreds of thousands of pools. That you feel you have better ideas is not pertinent to our goal because 1) the ideas you express are worse, not better and 2) TFP is not the place to argue about it. We teach what we know works......it is not our mission to teach (and discuss) what DOESN'T work
 
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