cleaning wedding cake stairs to rid of whatever is eating my FC

camueller

Well-known member
May 11, 2016
486
Troy IL
#1
Hi all. I am having a slight issue with my pool this year in that I noticed my pool was consuming FC pretty quickly. Like 5 or 6ppm per day. I'm never losing much overnight, maybe .5ppm, but if I don't continually add chlorine during the day it drops a lot. I believe it is because I was lazy and didn't fully clean my wedding cake stairs. I left them in the pool all winter. When I started my pump back up this year I added chlorine and thought I was fine (I didnt SLAM, I just brought the FC up to my level for CYA). With the water still cold I wasn't testing my water often enough, when I noticed I was almost out of chlorine one day when I should have had plenty, I realized there was something amiss. I pulled the stairs out and hosed them down, and there was some slime on them. Not green, but you could feel it. I thought I got it all off, so I put them back in the pool. Chlorine demand is still high.

So I'm thinking I didn't clean my stairs off enough. When I got home from work last night, I pulled them out of the pool again right before it started to rain. Long story short, I didn't do anything to them immediately and the stairs will likely be dry by the time I get home from work today. How should I go about cleaning these things and getting the gunk off to keep it out of my pool? Dish soap? some diluted bleach? Something else entirely?

I'm not crazy about the idea of climbing into this thing and scrubbing it down with bleach. I'm sure breathing that would be lovely.
 

spinPHD

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2017
500
Phoenix
#2
The experts will help you answer your questions, but I know they will want to know your current test results so I suggest posting them so they can help you get sorted.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,327
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
#3
I think I'd just get in there and scrub 'em good with ajax or something, rinse 'em off good, and the toss 'em back in the pool upside down or sideways and let them soak in some shock level water that has good circulation for a day or two. Then put them back. Don't forget to brush the hidden wall sections while you have access.

What about pool lights? Think I may have found my FC demand issue?
 

camueller

Well-known member
May 11, 2016
486
Troy IL
#4
I'm assuming my CYA is 40. I debated between 30 and 40 but am assuming 40 for a slam to make sure I've got enough in there. Trying to keep my FC at 16ppm. I had 17.5ppm in there when I left the house this morning at 7:30am.

Anyway, tonight I will scrub the stairs down. I've got some barkeepers friend and comet, which should be similar enough to ajax I think? I'm anxious to see what the FC level is when I get home after a day in partial sun. If it hasn't lost a ton of FC with the stairs out on the outside of the pool, I think I can safely assume they are the problem. However, if they are not, I don't have a lot of other options. This is one of those times having a pool built as cheaply as possible is handy. I have no lights, and my plumbing isn't in the walls. I have a contraption made out of decking that hangs over the pool edge and holds a skimmer down in the water as well as my return jet. I hate it normally, but for now I don't have a lot of extra places that could be hiding algae or anything nasty.
 

camueller

Well-known member
May 11, 2016
486
Troy IL
#6
Definitely kept up with the brushing during the SLAM.

And as an update, when I got home that day I tested and about 5pm I had 14.5 FC, a loss of 3ppm on a heavily cloudy day. I thought that seemed borderline bad. Anyway, today was sunny and I decided to test my CYA level again. Turned out with all the rain we had lately, apparently I pumped out enough water to lower my CYA level to 30 or perhaps below. So I think my FC was going quickly because the sun was eating it up due to not enough stabilizer. I used poolmath to figure out how much stabilizer to add to my pool to raise it 10ppm and hung that in a pair of pantyhose in front of a return. From that point, I only lost 1.5ppm more FC before the sun went down. I'm going to test in the morning for the OCLT, but I'm fairly certain I've got my problems taken care of here. Stairs cleaned and CYA added.