Copper Algaecide

poolman10

Well-known member
May 24, 2010
67
I've been reading about the downside of copper sulfate algaecide on this site for years, but still somehow managed to let someone sell it to me today. It's expensive and I can't return it. I've had a problem with recurring algae for the past couple of weeks, and after brushing and shocking a couple of times and maintaining FC at ~5, it still comes back. The algaecide I bought is 20% copper sulfate. Since I paid for it, can I use it just this once and avoid staining issues? A water test today did not show any presence of copper. The pool does have some stains, but have yet to determine what kind. Also, I'm throwing a party this weekend, so would like to avoid cloudy water.

Thanks for your help!

Vinyl
FC: 4.5
CC: 0
PH: 7.5
CYA: 30
Alk: 70 (a little low)
 
G

Guest

If it is unopened, why can't you return it?

I'd go to the Pool Calculator and input your figures and shock with chlorine (bleach). Keep at it, keep brushing and keep the pump running (and backwash, if needed) and you should have a fighting chance at a clear pool by party time!
 

poolman10

Well-known member
May 24, 2010
67
Thanks for the quick reply Bruce. I picked up the algaecide when I had a few spare minutes on an out-of-state trip, so too far away to return. All my numbers, except alk, are in line with the pool calculator. I just haven't had any luck for over a week and was getting pretty frustrated. Would a single treatment be bad, to see if it would be helpful? I sound like someone trying to quit smoking...just a little bit?

Am trying to minimize backwashing. Haven't had a drop of rain in over three weeks in my part of CT and we're on a well.

Thanks.
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
I really don't think you should put that in. It doesn't take much 20% copper sulfate to reach levels where staining would be a concern.

Simple calcs that may not be accurate, but probably close enough to make a point:
20% = 200,000 ppm CuSO4 in the algicide.
1 gallon algicide * 200,000 ppm Cu / 10,000 gal (random guess at your pool size) = 20 ppm CuSO4.

I'm guessing it comes in quarts, so a quart of algicide added to 10,000 gallons would bring your copper level up to about 5 ppm. 0.3 is the rule of thumb for staining risks.

I don't know what the recommended dose is or how much you were planning to add, but I wouldn't add any of it, even if it means you have to eat the cost. Or, you could give it to someone you don't like :twisted:

edited: i forgot a zero in the calcs...
 
G

Guest

Put the algaecide on the ground and step away slowly; keep your hands where I can see them. No quick movements, and nobody gets hurt!! :lol: :lol:

My concern would be that once it is in there, it's in there, and I just don't think you really need it. We know that a high enough level of FC, for a long enough time, will kill whatever you have, with no downside. Can't really say that with the copper algaecide.

If you have something in your filter that you haven't killed, then you gotta get that outta there! That's going to take running and backwashing, unfortunately.

As for this stuff you call "rain"; please explain. I'm in Southern California, for crying out loud. Rain, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, an honest politician ( :evil: :oops: ); they're all rumors as far as I'm concerned!
 

poolman10

Well-known member
May 24, 2010
67
We are brothers in drought, except we're not really built for it here in CT. My free time is spent watching weather.com and hoping i'll get water again when I turn on the shower.

My pool is 40x20 (about 30+k gallons) and they suggested that I add 2oz. of the algaecide per 1k gallons of water. In my case, I'd add about 60 oz of the 20% algaecide.
 
G

Guest

Besides pool size, is it gunite, vinyl, white plaster, pebble, ABG??
 

poolman10

Well-known member
May 24, 2010
67
Just in from another brush and bleach. The pool is vinyl.

One quick question: our first guests have arrived for our big weekend here -- what is the max FC level at which people can swim? My CYA is at ~30.

Thanks everyone for your help -- much appreciated.
 
G

Guest

10 ppm is about where I would limit my swimmers at. Anything higher, you need to let the sun do its thing!
 

poolman10

Well-known member
May 24, 2010
67
That's another thing about CT. Now that we're in mid-August, the pool is barely getting 4 hours of sun a day. This is our first year using a solar cover, so hoping to extend the season. Hmmm -- any connection between my pool cover and the algae?
 
G

Guest

I personally believe that covers do not allow a pool to "breath" properly, and that if they are covered too long they can promote algae. That may not be a real scientific explanation, but I've seen enough covered pools with algae (and the cover people actually suggest opening the cover for several hours a day also) to think that there is some basis to this.

Besides, they aren't as pretty covered :-D
 

poolman10

Well-known member
May 24, 2010
67
Good point -- thanks. We do make it a point to take the cover off almost everyday. I ran into the current algae problems when we we went away for three days and I left the cover on. Even though I shocked before leaving, I found slightly hazy green water and weird algae all over the bottom when I returned. The algae swept away very easily. Hit it hard with bleach and it mostly cleared, but still have some green algae coming back. Also, I got a lot of staining when the chlorine level started coming down from my initial shock. Not too pretty right now.
 
G

Guest

How many hours a day are you running your pump? I would be going no less than 6 hours, no matter what size pump you have (within reason). That allows for roughly 44 gpm turnover, based on your 16K pool.

Some folks like to try and shorten the run time on the pump. I say stagnant water creates ponds, not pools. Some will disagree, but it kind of grosses me out to think of a pool sitting 20 hours a day and expecting it to really be clean. Would you drink a glass of water that has been sitting on the counter for 20 hours :shock:
 

poolman10

Well-known member
May 24, 2010
67
Richard -- love the Joker -- nice!

Bruce -- I think my pool is about 30k gallons. I typically run it about 8-10 hrs. per day. One major issue we have is that the main drain does not function, so every 2-3 days I drop my vacuum into the deep end to make sure the water is moving around.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,396
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
poolman10 said:
Richard -- love the Joker -- nice!

Bruce -- I think my pool is about 30k gallons. I typically run it about 8-10 hrs. per day. One major issue we have is that the main drain does not function, so every 2-3 days I drop my vacuum into the deep end to make sure the water is moving around.
Hey, pull your skimmer basket and see if you have two holes down there. If so, read on..... One (generally away from the pool) will have flow. The poolside one leads to the main drain. There should be a flying saucer looking thing in there, called a diverter.

I was missing mine. About $10 later, I have plenty of flow in the drain. I can sweep odd bits of debris at it and they get magically whisked away. No need to wrestle the vacuum and hose out. Plus - my pool is the same temperature, right at the surface or at the very bottom. A little trial-and-error will get the right setting on the little sliding door on the bottom so balance flkow from skimmer and drain.

Just a thought..
 
G

Guest

Where the heck did I get 16,000 gallons :oops: Sorry 'bout that!

I don't have my main drain active either (I plugged the front hole in my skimmer, but I used a "valve" that I can open if I want to). Since I have a pool cleaner, I don't see the need for a main drain (in fact, I don't even put main drains in on any of the pools I happen to build anymore). I do get some debris down there, and I swim down and remove the drain covers each year and take the vacuum hose down to suck out the "stuff" that accumulates.

Sounds like you just need to "shock and awe" the algae you got. Give it h-e-double hockey sticks :whip:
 

teapot

In The Industry
Jul 25, 2009
574
London and France
Well I like copper :twisted: That's me for the deep end.
It should never be used in a concrete/plaster/tile pool though as you are just asking for trouble. In a vinyl pool and carefully monitored it does work as an insurance. However Poolman with your figures if they are correct you sound like there is a problem elsewhere and you should look into that first.
You have already stated you have had this problem before (reoccurring) so its time to take a good look at your filter as that may be the cause of your trouble.
If it is a sand filter it may have channels, that can allow water to pass through and also provide a home for bacteria and algae to live protected by their own coating of biofilm which can be chlorine resistant as they are away from the main flow of water as it passes through the filter but they can get nutrition, eventually colonies break off and enter your pool. If your chlorine level has been constant at the level you posted you should not be having these problems.

How do you test your water?
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
poolman10 said:
I've been reading about the downside of copper sulfate algaecide on this site for years, but still somehow managed to let someone sell it to me today. It's expensive and I can't return it. I've had a problem with recurring algae for the past couple of weeks, and after brushing and shocking a couple of times and maintaining FC at ~5, it still comes back. The algaecide I bought is 20% copper sulfate. Since I paid for it, can I use it just this once and avoid staining issues? A water test today did not show any presence of copper. The pool does have some stains, but have yet to determine what kind. Also, I'm throwing a party this weekend, so would like to avoid cloudy water.

Thanks for your help!

Vinyl
FC: 4.5
CC: 0
PH: 7.5
CYA: 30
Alk: 70 (a little low)
Poolman, have you passed the overnight FC loss test, before you let the FC come down from Shock level? How are you testing? When you say shocking a couple of times, did you pass the overnight FC loss test each time before letting the FC come down? Sorry for the redundant questions, but it sounds like your fighting an algae bloom and algaecide alone will not do the trick...and i'll agree with Richard...no copper for me.
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
What are you testing with? If you see visible algae, or your FC is not holding overnight.... you need to shock the pool with liquid chlorine.

You don't need algaecide, period... to maintain or clear a pool. Its just not necessary.

If you're pool is not clearing it means you aren't adding enough chlorine or maintaining the required level.
 

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