# Cloudy pool, algae covered floor, no chlorine...

#### DoePooled

##### Well-known member
We bought our house, with an in-ground vinyl pool, in April. Just FYI, we have softened water. We've been trying to get our pool clear for a couple weeks now. Didn't start immediately, due to heavy rains. Had a pool guy out, but decided to go to Leslie's with water sample. Bought over \$400 worth of chemicals so far. Pool went from very green to cloudy, and started to clear slowly, but today I used the net again and found there's still algae at the bottom. Eww, yuck...gross! Oh well, my compost pile will like it!

There is a Polaris vacuum in the pool deck area, and also a vacuum pump there, which was snipped from the electrical supply near the pool pump, and removed, so we have nothing to hook the vacuum up to. So no vacuuming. Probably not the best way to go. Are there other choices for vacuums besides those that are attached to a (supposed to be) permanent pump, like this one?

Pool dimensions are 16'×32', with a variable depth that drops off sharply into the deep end. Somehow, we got a volume estimate of 27,000 gallons at Leslie's, but I think, by my calculations, that 19,000 to 20,000 gallons is more realistic, depending on how full the pool is. I finally realized, with help from a FB pool group, that the pool should be filled about halfway up the skimmer (please correct me if I'm wrong), so by that fill level, the shallow end is approx 3' deep for about 10' of the length of pool (16' wide, with 3 steps off to the side, as far as EYE can see ...side note, I didn't add the step area into my calculations for volume). The remaining 22' of the pool starts at approx 3'2" and goes to approx 8'8". These are my best guesstimates!

Following is our pool chemistry, per Leslie's, and treatments, so far.

First test, on 06/06, FC=0.25, TC=0.25, pH=8.7, TA=8.7, CH=116, CA=5, Fe=0, Cu=0.1, phosphates=0, and TDS=800. Started treating on 06/16 due to rain not letting us alone long enough to start sooner. Added 4 lbs Green to Clean, then 4 lbs shock (Leslie's Power Powder Plus 73), 3 times, waiting 12 hours between each addition of shock, as instructed.

Second test, on 06/16, FC=1.49, TC=13.63, pH=8.7, TA=51, CH=128, CA=5, Fe=0, Cu=0.1, phosphates=263, and TDS=900. Treated that evening. I believe, with approx 20 lbs, give or take (need to measure weight for next time, finally found my food scale! ), baking soda (fresh from Walmart) and Leslie's Alkalinity Up (found in pool deck storage area, so unsure how fresh it is). The next day, added one gallon liquid muriatic acid, in 4 divided doses, 4 hours between treatments. The following day (evening) I added the equivalent of 6 lbs of shock, plus 19 fl. oz. Leslie's Ultra Bright Advanced water clarifier, waited one hour, and then added 6 lbs of Leslie's Fresh and Clear.

Third test, on 06/20 (Sunday), FC=0.19, TC=2.88, pH=7.1, TA=107, CH=145, CA=5, Fe=.1, Cu=0, phosphates=221, and TDS=1100. Monday night, treated with 9 lbs of shock and 13 fl. oz. Leslie's Ultra Bright Advanced water clarifier. Was expecting rain on Tuesday. It never came!! Today, added 27 lbs of Leslie's Hardness Plus.

Leslie's wanted us to bring another pool sample after adding the Hardness Plus. I may try tweaking the alkalinity and pH first, though, and maybe shock the system again. What are y'alls suggestions about what I can do from here on out, without spending bookoo more bucks? I'm planning to order a test kit and start testing my water myself. We're spending far more at Leslie's than we can really afford, so we've got to start cutting costs now. I've read up on the test kits and it looks like the Taylor K-2006 is the best one out there. Any thoughts?

Pictures inserted are in reverse chronological order. I didn't get a picture from after I basically stirred up the algae from the bottom. The last 2 were taken at the time we looked at the house, before purchase. It wasn't kept up afterwards, we're assuming from the time our negotiations began.

I appreciate any help given. Sorry this was so long, but I wanted to cover all bases as much as possible. Thank you!!

#### Texas Splash

TFP Expert
Welcome! Well, Leslie's certainly got their money's worth from you, and as you learned the expensive way it did no good. Nothing they said or sold you will help - period. You do need a proper test kit, that's #1. While you could order a Taylor K-2006C (the C is important), I would recommend the TF-100 (link in my signature). Better value overall.

Don't add anything else to the water right now except for 1 gallon of liquid chlorine each day. Walmart's Pool Essentials or Home Depot'[s HDX chlorine will work fine. One gallon per day is all for now until you get the test kit. Once you get the kit, post a full set of water test results in the format noted below and we'll be glad to help you.

FC
CC
CYA
PH
TA
CH

#### JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Sorry, you got pool stored. You walked in with an algae problem, and were sold tons of products that you didn't need when you only needed chlorine to kill the algae.

That would be like walking into the doctor's office with a cold, and them giving you Tylenol, doing an MRI on a bum shoulder and treating an ingrown toenail. They didnt address the root cause and just lighten your wallet.

The most expensive thing we ever have you buy is a quality test kit. From there it is just chlorine plus a little bit of elbow grease.

#### DoePooled

##### Well-known member
Welcome! Well, Leslie's certainly got their money's worth from you, and as you learned the expensive way it did no good. Nothing they said or sold you will help - period. You do need a proper test kit, that's #1. While you could order a Taylor K-2006C (the C is important), I would recommend the TF-100 (link in my signature). Better value overall.

Don't add anything else to the water right now except for 1 gallon of liquid chlorine each day. Walmart's Pool Essentials or Home Depot'[s HDX chlorine will work fine. One gallon per day is all for now until you get the test kit. Once you get the kit, post a full set of water test results in the format noted below and we'll be glad to help you.

FC
CC
CYA
PH
TA
CH

OH, thank you! I thought this post had gotten lost, but I see I'M the one that's lost LOL
We'll get that kit ordered asap and list results as soon as we have them. I have some powdered shock still. How much of that should I use until I can pick up some liquid? Also, I listed the pool as vinyl because that's what was on our paperwork from Leslie's, but I honestly have NO IDEA what this pool is constructed from. How can I tell?

#### DoePooled

##### Well-known member
Sorry, you got pool stored. You walked in with an algae problem, and were sold tons of products that you didn't need when you only needed chlorine to kill the algae.

That would be like walking into the doctor's office with a cold, and them giving you Tylenol, doing an MRI on a bum shoulder and treating an ingrown toenail. They didnt address the root cause and just lighten your wallet.

The most expensive thing we ever have you buy is a quality test kit. From there it is just chlorine plus a little bit of elbow grease.
Pools should come with directions to this forum!! Thanks for your response!!

ChelleSte and Oly

#### JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
OH, thank you! I thought this post had gotten lost, but I see I'M the one that's lost LOL
We'll get that kit ordered asap and list results as soon as we have them. I have some powdered shock still. How much of that should I use until I can pick up some liquid? Also, I listed the pool as vinyl because that's what was on our paperwork from Leslie's, but I honestly have NO IDEA what this pool is constructed from. How can I tell?
Your pics look like a vinyl liner pool, as opposed to a fiberglass pool (think of bathtub or spa material) or a plaster pool which has concrete walls covered by plaster or a pebble/plaster mix.

What kind of powdered shock do you have? For reference, 1lb of 73% Cal Hypo will add 4.6 FC to the pool. That would be about the daily need until you get your test kit. The problem with powered or solid chlorine is that while convenient, it also adds other stuff to your pool including calcium and/or CYA which can cause problems down the road. You are probably fine using what you have, but I would get some liquid chlorine and use that as your primary source of chlorine soon. If helpful, 1 gallon of 10% strength liquid chlorine adds 5.3 FC to a 19k gallon pool so buy a lot more than 1 jug when you find it.

#### DoePooled

##### Well-known member
Sorry, you got pool stored. You walked in with an algae problem, and were sold tons of products that you didn't need when you only needed chlorine to kill the algae.

That would be like walking into the doctor's office with a cold, and them giving you Tylenol, doing an MRI on a bum shoulder and treating an ingrown toenail. They didnt address the root cause and just lighten your wallet.

The most expensive thing we ever have you buy is a quality test kit. From there it is just chlorine plus a little
Your pics look like a vinyl liner pool, as opposed to a fiberglass pool (think of bathtub or spa material) or a plaster pool which has concrete walls covered by plaster or a pebble/plaster mix.

What kind of powdered shock do you have? For reference, 1lb of 73% Cal Hypo will add 4.6 FC to the pool. That would be about the daily need until you get your test kit. The problem with powered or solid chlorine is that while convenient, it also adds other stuff to your pool including calcium and/or CYA which can cause problems down the road. You are probably fine using what you have, but I would get some liquid chlorine and use that as your primary source of chlorine soon. If helpful, 1 gallon of 10% strength liquid chlorine adds 5.3 FC to a 19k gallon pool so buy a lot more than 1 jug when you find it.
My husband is pretty sure himself that our pool is vinyl lined.
These are the 2 shock products we have on hand:

Is it possible we may need the following pool conditioner in the future, or should I return this to Leslie's and demand a refund, since it hasn't been opened yet?

This is our skimmer reservoir. There is no basket in it. Should we have one there? I bought skimmer socks, thinking that they would work on the pump skimmer, but as you can see from the second pic below, there's no way to make them work. Where can we get a replacement basket that will fit, if we need one for the pool skimmer, please?

Thank you for all your help! I'm about to go order that test kit!!

#### Texas Splash

TFP Expert
If your local water is hard, you don't want to use any of that cal-hypo sanitizer. It will increase your CH too high. Just use liquid chlorine from Walmart or Home Depot. You can also use plain/regular bleach for the free chlorine. Yes, you need a skimmer basket. They sell them online. Just take a simple measurement if needed, but they're available. The skimmer sock would go in the skimmer basket when you get one, not the pump strainer pot. Nothing goes in that small basket at the pump.

#### Texas Splash

TFP Expert
Remember, post #2 for now. We know the pool store took you for a ride, but you really need one of those test kits.

#### Casey

TFP Expert
Keep the stabilizer/conditioner for next year. Keep it dry.

Get the TF100 n add the gallon of chlorine a day until your kit comes in.

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#### DoePooled

##### Well-known member
Remember, post #2 for now. We know the pool store took you for a ride, but you really need one of those test kits.
Thanks! We ordered the TF100 test kit!

Texas Splash

#### DoePooled

##### Well-known member
If your local water is hard, you don't want to use any of that cal-hypo sanitizer. It will increase your CH too high. Just use liquid chlorine from Walmart or Home Depot. You can also use plain/regular bleach for the free chlorine. Yes, you need a skimmer basket. They sell them online. Just take a simple measurement if needed, but they're available. The skimmer sock would go in the skimmer basket when you get one, not the pump strainer pot. Nothing goes in that small basket at the pump.
We actually have soft water. Takes forever to get the soap off my hands! Grrr...
Thank you again! We'll get a skimmer basket ordered.

Texas Splash

#### YippeeSkippy

Gold Supporter
I finally realized, with help from a FB pool group, that the pool should be filled about halfway up the skimmer (please correct me if I'm wrong),
Well that's the first thing we've ever heard that they got right!!

#### YippeeSkippy

Gold Supporter
If you've been running without a skimmer basket for long your sand filter is probably really, really dirty. It might be helpful to open her up and give it a good deep clean.

Your skimmer socks will go into the skimmer basket and collect the larger stuff and help save your filter from getting so dirty. Just rinse out the emptied sock and re-use.

#### JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
My husband is pretty sure himself that our pool is vinyl lined.
These are the 2 shock products we have on hand: View attachment 348848View attachment 348849

Is it possible we may need the following pool conditioner in the future, or should I return this to Leslie's and demand a refund, since it hasn't been opened yet?
View attachment 348850
This is our skimmer reservoir. There is no basket in it. Should we have one there? I bought skimmer socks, thinking that they would work on the pump skimmer, but as you can see from the second pic below, there's no way to make them work. Where can we get a replacement basket that will fit, if we need one for the pool skimmer, please?
View attachment 348855View attachment 348856
Thank you for all your help! I'm about to go order that test kit!!
The 1st 2 products are both Cal-Hypo, just different strengths. Both add chlorine, but also add calcium which can build up and cause scale over time. Don't buy any more and I would not use it unless you test your water yourself and your calcium is truly low or at least at the low end of your target.
The 3rd product is CYA (also called stabilizer). It protects your chlorine from the sun, but like most things in your pool there is a target range. Too little and the sun gobbles up your chlorine, too much and it will tie up all of your chlorine and not let it zap the cooties in your pool.

Once you get your test, compare your results to the ideal ranges:

#### YippeeSkippy

Gold Supporter
DoePooled- if you don't have a heater, you have no need for calcium in your water. Vinyl liners do not need calcium unless a heater is online and the calcium protects the heater element.

DoePooled

#### DoePooled

##### Well-known member
Welcome! Well, Leslie's certainly got their money's worth from you, and as you learned the expensive way it did no good. Nothing they said or sold you will help - period. You do need a proper test kit, that's #1. While you could order a Taylor K-2006C (the C is important), I would recommend the TF-100 (link in my signature). Better value overall.

Don't add anything else to the water right now except for 1 gallon of liquid chlorine each day. Walmart's Pool Essentials or Home Depot'[s HDX chlorine will work fine. One gallon per day is all for now until you get the test kit. Once you get the kit, post a full set of water test results in the format noted below and we'll be glad to help you.

FC
CC
CYA
PH
TA
CH

Got our test kit delivered yesterday, but didn't realize it until this afternoon. It was sitting on the front porch in the shade.

I ran all the tests, except for the one that tests for chloramides, as they were out of the reagent for that test. Here is the T-1000 results. Sending the pic, as I'm not quite sure how to interpret these results in numbers:

To me, it looks like there is still no chlorine present. PH looks better though!
I'll do my best to list all the results in the format you asked for here :

FC & CC - 0ppm according to the T-1000 and the drop test. Please explain to me the difference between the drop test and the T-1000. Which is which (FC vs CC)?
CYA - I followed the directions precisely and the black dot never disappeared from the bottom of the test tube. I'm assuming that means 0ppm.
PH - it appears to me to be between 7.2 and 7.5, so 7.35?
TA - 110ppm
CH - 375ppm
So what's next, please? I've been putting a scoop of shock in every night. I think I've scooped all the built-up solid matter out of the pool, but there still seems to be a lot of algae getting stirred up with the net, although a little less each time, so hopefully the chlorine is doing its job.
Doreen

#### mknauss

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
FC & CC - 0ppm according to the T-1000 and the drop test. Please explain to me the difference between the drop test and the T-1000. Which is which (FC vs CC)?
The K1000 has the OTO TC test and pH test. The OTO TC test shows you have no chlorine. The pH is fine at 7.5 by my eyes.

To get the FC, you need to use 10 ml of water in the Chlorine Only vial, then 1 heaping scoop of R0870, swirl to mix, then each drop of R0871 to clear is 0.5ppm. Hold the R0871 bottle vertically and do not put any pressure on the bottle to start with. Let the drop form and fall. If the drops stop forming, put very light pressure on the bottle. Each drop should take a second or so to form and drop.

If the sample does not turn pink with one heaping scoop of R0870, you have no chlorine in the water.

#### DoePooled

##### Well-known member
The K1000 has the OTO TC test and pH test. The OTO TC test shows you have no chlorine. The pH is fine at 7.5 by my eyes.

To get the FC, you need to use 10 ml of water in the Chlorine Only vial, then 1 heaping scoop of R0870, swirl to mix, then each drop of R0871 to clear is 0.5ppm. Hold the R0871 bottle vertically and do not put any pressure on the bottle to start with. Let the drop form and fall. If the drops stop forming, put very light pressure on the bottle. Each drop should take a second or so to form and drop.

If the sample does not turn pink with one heaping scoop of R0870, you have no chlorine in the water.
I did the chlorine only test with the powder and it was clear, showing 0FC, I'm assuming. <Insert Exasperated sigh here>
I apologize. I got confused on the name of the small blue kit. Is TC the same as CC, then? So much to learn!! I'm trying to get then the articles too. I'm just slow. I really appreciate the extra help!! Thank you so much everyone!!

#### mknauss

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
TC is FC+CC. The OTO TC test does not distinguish between them.

As your CYA test showed, zero, start 30 ppm CYA worth of stabilizer dissolving. For your your pool size that is 5 pounds. Split it up into several thin socks and hang in the front of returns or put a couple in the skimmer with the pump running.
Then add liquid chlorine to get to 12 ppm FC. That is 2 gallons of 10%. Then every two to three hours, test FC and add enough liquid chlorine to get back to 12 ppm FC.

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