Cartridge question - no good anymore?

lovlilynne

Member
Jun 4, 2016
20
Massachusetts
On Friday, 7/12, my brother dumped a half gallon of algaecide (HTH Algae Guard) in my 11.5k above-ground pool that doesn't have algae. A few hours later when the kids started swimming, my pool turned into a bubble bath. Even though the algaecide was non-foaming, I read online that if you don't have algae to kill, excess algaecide can cause foaming.

But that's not actually my question. Yesterday morning based on all the bubbles, I decided to swap my filter cartridge out for a clean one - couldn't hurt, right? When I pulled out the one in the filter, it was completely Smurf blue. I swapped it for a clean one (last year's cartridge), and I started cleaning the blue one - took me about 40 minutes, and the water was still blue tinged. Six hours later, I swapped them again - same thing - cartridge completely blue. This time cleaning it didn't take as long. I swapped them again this morning (after ~18 hours), and same thing - completely blue (I've attached a picture of the two cartridges - one blue and one rinsed).

So, the very specific question is - are these cartridges ruined? Here are some follow up questions: Should I be doing a TSP soak after the rinses? Do you think that eventually the blue/bubbles will go away? Or should I just scrap the cartridge swap plan and drain and add water?

Here's some incidental info - I don't think it's pertinent to the question, but you may be wondering:
1. Pool chemistry is great. PH is a little low, so I've been adding PH up/washing soda every day. Water under the bubbles is perfectly clear.
2. Swimmers do not have excess soap, sunscreen, or perfume on, but they did not shower before swimming.
3. Reason my brother dumped 1/2 gallon of algaecide in my pool: A week ago I came home from 2 week vacation to a swamp. Even though the filter was on a timer all week, I think the rain did a number. Anyway, I set to cleaning it - and a couple of shocks, rinsed cartridges, and a few vacuums later it was clear. But I talked to my brother about his pool and asked what kind of algaecide he used. He took it upon himself (without looking at the pool) to dump it in. I guess he figured it wouldn't hurt. Lesson learned.

Thank you in advance for answering my question(s).

Lynne
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
21,301
Laughlin, NV
They are not ruined, but your pool is full of copper. The algaecide had copper in it. Do not ever use algaecide again without knowing what it has in it or why you are using it.

Hopefully the copper will not get high enough to stain the pool surfaces. It is pretty much impossible to remove from vinyl liners. Also any blonde hair swimmers may get green hair.
 

lovlilynne

Member
Jun 4, 2016
20
Massachusetts
Thank you. So just keep doing what I'm doing? No TSP cleaning?
Pool liner looks great so far - no staining.
FC is at 10, so not going to do SLAM
My daughter would be happy to have green hair ;)

Life lesson: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Water was beautiful before this.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
21,301
Laughlin, NV
TSP is to remove oils from the filter. A good idea later in the summer, but not because of algaecide.
 

lovlilynne

Member
Jun 4, 2016
20
Massachusetts
So, update - pool water is still blue. Cartridges still covered in smurf blue stuff. When I take them out, my hands are covered with blue chalky substance. When I rinse them, there are particles - looks like the size of granulated chlorine (which I don't use) but blue - that are rinsed out. I am only swapping out 1x a day, and filtering dusk to dawn now that it's a work week.

So far, no staining. On Saturday, I got in the pool and wiped away a blue ring around the pool with my hand. It had built up like pine pollen does in June. But no brown or orange copper color at all - just all blue.

I've tried to search up any other examples of this happening to someone else's pool, but most of the posts are about cloudy blue pools, and mine isn't cloudy - crystal clear blue. Oh, and the water is blue, it doesn't just look like it's blue. Inside the filter where the cartridge is, the water looks like a tidy-bowl toilet :) You can see the blue water all along the edge of the pool where the liner is white.

The suds have mostly dissipated. I was able to vacuum tonight for the first time without the return churning up a bubble bath. But, when I was done and took the vacuum off the skimmer, it spewed out the bubbles - but not for as long or as much - of course I also turned off the filter as soon as possible.

The water chemistry is great - everything is right on target.

I'm just flabbergasted that an over-application of algaecide can do this to a pool. My brother put a gallon of the stuff in his pool, and he didn't have any of this happen.
 

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,472
Portland, Oregon
I feel like this needs a bump.

What's happening now? When you say your water chemistry is great, what does that mean? What are all your test results?

FC
CC
TA
CH
pH
CYA

How are you chlorinating?

Have you read Pool School

Randomly dumping in chemicals can cause issues. If you're looking for zero issues of such annoying results you've experienced, changing how you do your pool might be helpful to you. It's all in Pool school.
 

lovlilynne

Member
Jun 4, 2016
20
Massachusetts
Hi, sorry, I did not see your reply, and I have been busy with work.
When I say chemistry is great, I mean that all the numbers are in the recommended ranges - of course I don't have the results from then.
I chlorinate with pucks in a floating device that I have tied to my ladder so that it doesn't end up in front of the skimmer. I also shock with 1lb bags of granulated shock from In the Swim.
I agree that randomly dumping in chemicals can cause issues - see OP - I did not authorize or even know that my brother was dumping in algaecide. He thought he was helping.
I've been a pool owner for 23 years now, so I'm well schooled on how to keep my pool - it's really all about chlorine.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,828
NW Ohio
You should know that we don't accept "numbers are good" here. We expect actual numbers from a good test kit, not pool store or test strip numbers. This is very much a water chemistry question, after all.
 
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