Clear Green Water

joedeb

Member
Aug 22, 2007
20
Help!

I have very clear water but the pool water looks green instead of blue.
We had the water tested and fixed ph, etc. and have been shocking it, putting in algaecide, brushing, backwashing, you name it and it looks green anyway.

The man at the pool center gave us a lot of alkalinity up and it seems like it has been doing this since then. It's right where it should be and ph is about 7.2, on the low side. However, it says on the shock that it should be in that range if you are fighting algae.

Does anybody know what I should do? I am having a party Labor Day weekend and am getting nervous that I won't be able to fix it.

Thanks
 

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ktdave

LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2007
888
Katy, TX
You might want to have your water tested for metals, copper in particular. If you find that you have copper, you can use a metal sequesterant to keep it at bay.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,471
SW Indiana
First, do as Dave suggests and make sure you don't have a metal problem. Fighting algae is something pool stores don't really get right. They want to sell you a bag of magic powder that will fix the problem, but the reality is that it takes time and continuous additions of chlorine to get rid of the algae. If you have algae, almost all of the chlorine you add when you shock can be gone in 3 or 4 hours. To control algae, you need to add enough chlorine to shock your pool based on your CYA level, and hold it there for a few days. You'll have to test the pool and add more chlorine at least three times a day to have any success. This requires a test kit, and a source of chlorine that can get into the water quickly. Laundry bleach or liquid shock are the best options.

Post details about your pool including volume and construction, and your test result numbers and we can advise you better.
 

gonefishin

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 5, 2007
413
Joliet, Il.
joedeb said:
Help!

I have very clear water but the pool water looks green instead of blue.
We had the water tested and fixed ph, etc. and have been shocking it, putting in algaecide, brushing, backwashing, you name it and it looks green anyway.

The man at the pool center gave us a lot of alkalinity up and it seems like it has been doing this since then. It's right where it should be and ph is about 7.2, on the low side. However, it says on the shock that it should be in that range if you are fighting algae.

Does anybody know what I should do? I am having a party Labor Day weekend and am getting nervous that I won't be able to fix it.

Thanks
Welcome to the forum Joe :)

You mentioned that initially that you had the water tested and fixed Ph. What were the numbers before you did anything? If you could post a full set of numbers from the initial test and now, that would help. Also, ask the store to include a copper test. Oh yeah...for right now...don't add anything else. After you get the information back some of the more experienced users here will be able to direct you. The problem with some of the popular pool store recommendations is that many of them come with a consequence that may raise other levels that you don't want raised. Also...many of the active ingredients in the pool store chemicals can be found for much less money at places like a grocery store.

You could also take a read at this thread on shocking your pool for newbies.

let us know what you find out,
dan
 

duraleigh

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Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,530
Sebring, Florida
Joe,

Welcome to the forum. We can only stab guesses at your problem without a set of current test results. Current numbers for pH, chlorine, Alk, and CYA will eliminate the guessing and get you onto a concrete track to turn your pool blue.

PS - If you read thru my posts, you'll see I am an absolute bulldog on this subject.....I'll bet you have algae in your pool. It's a pretty good bet because that's the case in at least 95% of the pools that have unacceptable water.
 

Buggsw

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
925
Arizona
If you are using an algaecide that has copper in it, you may be contributing to the problem.

Use chlorine to kill algae. Algaecide is better at preventing and shouldn't be used in mega doses.
 

joedeb

Member
Aug 22, 2007
20
Hi,

PH 7.2
TA 130
CHLORINE 2.0

I have added chlorine bleach this morning to see what happens. I am having trouble getting the chlorine level up as you can see. When I brush the pool there isn't much coming off the sides. Should I turn off the filter to let dead algae settle so I can vacuum it? The pool store recommended that once but they have also gypped me out of over 800.00 since Katrina trying to get this pool in shape. When I raised the alkalinity from 100 (by my test kit) to 130 it seems like this problem developed. They said I had zero ta when both my test kit and test strips said 100. I was shocked that they said it was zero and called to question. Also my ph was very low and they said it was okay...just the opposite of what the test kits said (6.5).

This is the first time this has happened. I will test for copper. My husband put way too much algaecide in just before this happened as well. He read it wrong and added about 3 times the dose. This was when we added the alkalinity up. The sides of my pool are porous as well as it needs resurfacing. I probably can't win...
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
Trust your own testing. I would stop believing anything that pool strore tells you. That is several things they have gotten wrong now.

It is simplest to let the filter take care of the algae in the water. It may take a little while but requires little work on your part.

Brushing makes sure that there isn't any algae living in biofilms on the pool sides or floor. Algae can be quite chlorine resistant when in a biofilm. Brushing breaks up the biofilm and lets the chlorine do it's work. It is best to brush while you have the chlorine level at shock level.

If you are having trouble holding a chlorine level that suggests either a very low CYA level or algae. Do you know your CYA level? How high you need to keep your chlorine level depends on your CYA level, so it is important to know. If your test kit can't test for CYA I storngly suggest getting one that can. A good test kit is the best investment in your pool you can make.
 

MikeInTN

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 27, 2007
1,335
Middle Tennessee
joedeb said:
Hi,

PH 7.2
TA 130
CHLORINE 2.0

I have added chlorine bleach this morning to see what happens. I am having trouble getting the chlorine level up as you can see. When I brush the pool there isn't much coming off the sides. Should I turn off the filter to let dead algae settle so I can vacuum it? The pool store recommended that once but they have also gypped me out of over 800.00 since Katrina trying to get this pool in shape. When I raised the alkalinity from 100 (by my test kit) to 130 it seems like this problem developed. They said I had zero ta when both my test kit and test strips said 100. I was shocked that they said it was zero and called to question. Also my ph was very low and they said it was okay...just the opposite of what the test kits said (6.5).

This is the first time this has happened. I will test for copper. My husband put way too much algaecide in just before this happened as well. He read it wrong and added about 3 times the dose. This was when we added the alkalinity up. The sides of my pool are porous as well as it needs resurfacing. I probably can't win...
If you still have the bottle the algaecide came in, you can look at the ingredients and see if it was copper-based. My guess would be yes, as copper's an effective algaecide and sold by pool stores frequently. Don't ask me how I know this.. :oops:
 

joedeb

Member
Aug 22, 2007
20
The algaecide container doesn't mention copper at all. I need to bring the water to the pool place to get it checked for copper. I bought a new kit as my cya fluids were empty and I am going to check tonight. The walls of the pool have slimy places which I keep brushing but the chlorine level is hard to raise. I am trying to get it to "shock" level but have used almost all of the shock we bought in a huge container a few weeks ago. We are putting like 4 pounds at a time and now doing it several times a day. I need to say that the pool is 92 degrees...Louisiana. Now it's supposed to rain every day for a week....bah.
 

SeanB

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Sounds like you need to head to the grocery store and pick up some more chlorine bleach. As soon as you can give us that CYA number, we'll tell you how much bleach you need to add to get to the right shock level. Until you get enough chlorine in the water, your problem is not going to go away.
 

joedeb

Member
Aug 22, 2007
20
Hi

I guess the problem is cya too high...it is over 100 (just under the mark...110 maybe? No more numbers over 100).

Total hardness is about 550...When I put drops in the water didn't turn red as it said...it turned purple...then after the drops bluish. The man at HTH said when a color change happens that is the number...whether it's red or purple.

Ph is 7.2
Alk is 130
Chlorine is still right in the middle...can't get it in "shock" territory. My husband is going to get some bleach today but isn't sure how much to put.

Pool is 16 x 32 with 8 ft diving area. We figured it to be about 25,000 gallons, gunite.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
The most common CYA test will read as around 100 even if CYA is far far higher than 100. Try diluting the pool water one to one with tap water and doing the CYA test again with that and multiplying the result by 2. It will help to know your current CYA level, but in any case you should really bring you CYA level down below 100. The only practical way to do this is to replace water.

With CYA that high to shock the pool you need to bring FC up to around 30. When shocking it is best to bring the FC level all the way up to shock level as quickly as possible, ie add lots of chlorine in 10 or 15 minutes, not some this morning and some this afternoon. You can use my Pool Calculator, see the link in my signature, to figure out how much bleach to add. For 25,000 gallons, raising FC by 30 requires about 12 gallons of 6% bleach (keep in mind that bleach tends to come in either 3/4 gallon and 1.4 gallon jugs).

The TA test can have various colors depending on the FC level and metals in the water. As the HTH guy said just watch for the color change.
 

joedeb

Member
Aug 22, 2007
20
Hi,

It was the hardness test that was not the right color...it was kind of purple instead of red. Then barely changed to blue after 45 or 50 drops.

We have drained about a quarter of the pool since my last posting. Still draining now. Should we start putting the bleach in while the water level is really low then start adding water?

Also, does the Polaris need to be out? Does it stir up the algae and distribute it through the water as it dies off? And, finally, should we keep filtering the whole time?

This pool is like a boat...a hole in the water you throw money into!!! I wouldn't trade a pool for anything when they are doing good but right now it has been a week of constant fighting this green water. At first it was crystal clear but the whole pool looked green. Now it has gotten a bit murkier, I guess some of it is dying.

One last thing, should I add clarifier or flock in the end??
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
I wouldn't drain the pool down too low, best to stop when there is say one foot of water in the shallow end. Chances are that nothing will go wrong from draining, but if the pool floated it would be very expensive to fix.

Sorry about mixing up TA and CH. The rule is the same for both, don't worry about the specific color, look for the color change.

It is actually good to have the polaris in and running when shocking. That will kill any algea in the polaris, help mix the water, and do some surface cleaning.

Keep the pump/filter running 24/7 when fighting algae.

You want good water circulation when adding bleach, best to have the pump running. If you want to get ahead and add bleach before the pool is full again be sure to mix the water up well, perhaps with a clean broom or something similar right after adding the bleach.

Clarifier won't help much. A floc treatment after the algae is all dead can get the pool cleared faster but it costs something and is more work than simply letting the filter take care of it (which can take several days).
 

joedeb

Member
Aug 22, 2007
20
Thank you so much. I hope this works. I only let the water go down to the last step (just below) because I was afraid it would float. It happened to someone here in Houma this summer. The guy said he drained the pool and was going to work on it over the weekend and when they came out Saturday it was ruined. The water level is high in the ground here as we are right by the swamp...like you see in the movies!

I could send you a picture of the way it looks as I just took one. I am sick that we have to fill it back up right now because I know it needs repair. The sides look like they have been sandblasted with tiny specks of what I'm sure is algae in all the pits.

We had the light replaced last month and the guy looked at the sides and said "you won't win that battle" referring to the algae with the sides so pourus. Do you know how much it is to resurface one these days? This thing sat for over a year with the most sludge in it that you can imagine. It was black and you couldn't see the bottom...on bad advice we didn't drain it (same pool company...made a lot of money!). We had never had a pool and didn't know any better. The used a pump and vacuumed the algae/sludge into the yard..not through the filter. We have a new filter, pool heater and the pump pumps very well..strong.

I guess most of the problem is the sides and high cya. Also being 92 degrees doesn't help. Our hot tub is only 99.

Thanks again,
Debbie
 

ktdave

LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2007
888
Katy, TX
Bleach, bleach, and more bleach! oh, and did I mention to keep adding bleach? It's all you need right now.

Keep at it. Patience is key at this point.
 

cborn

Member
Aug 23, 2007
13
Manassas, VA
I had a similar problem thought was metals but turned out to be a calcium harness issue. The ideal is 200-400. Mine tested 100. Leslie Pools sold me 8 lbs of Hardness Plus (6000 gal fiberglass pool). It cleared up in 24 hours.
 

Ohm_Boy

TFP Expert
May 1, 2007
1,344
Orlando, FL
CYA at 100 means that your target shock level for chlorine is almost 40. Yes, 40. It'll take a lot of bleach to get it there. The reason to use bleach is that it won't make the CYA or CH go up. Your other "shock" powder will, if it is chlorine. Dichlor granules will jack the CYA up, cal-hypo will kick the calcium up.
If you can either lower the CYA by draining (which you have done) and adding fresh water, then you can use less chlorine to shock it. Check your CYA and check Richard's CYA/Chlorine chart here: http://troublefreepool.com/viewtopic.php?t=2346 for the levels you need.

When you can hold shock levels overnight, it means that there is no more algae consuming it.
 

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