Cutting off the pool guy - want to get levels right.

Hi all - I bought a house a few months ago with pool and hot tub. We kept the same pool guy, but not super impressed with him and wanting to save $$$ so going to take over myself.
We've had dead algae in the pool now for several months, since Sept/ Oct - it isn't going away. It's on the bottom of the pool, puffs away when disturbed. The pool looks clean when the pool guy does the sweep, then it returns an hour or two later on the floor. Pool service doesn't seem concerned about it, but I am. Our SWG was old and probably not working properly. I think the pool guy was adding chlorine manually to try to fix it, but it hasn't gotten better or worse - just persistent. I bought a new Hayward SWG and had it installed a week ago, so hoping that helps.
I bought the TF-100 kit and got the below results when I tested for the first time yesterday. They seem to be all over the place. My main concern is clearing up the persistent dead algae on the bottom of the pool and maintaining correct levels. Any help and suggestions are welcome. What levels to adjust? What chemicals should be used to adjust, and where to buy them? I'm confident I can handle it all when I get used to it, I just want to make sure I start in the right direction. Thanks all.

Pool levels:
pH: 8.2
FC: 9ppm
CC: 0ppm
CH: 400
TA: 140
CYA: 60
(Salt test was sold out, it's being delivered this week).

Hot tub levels:
pH: 6.8
FC: 0.5ppm !!!!
CC: 0ppm
CH: 225
TA: 70
CYA: 110

Where should I start? Thanks.
 

clduncan

Bronze Supporter
Jul 2, 2019
114
Waco,Texas
Get that PH down by using muriatic acid and the TA will also go down. Not too far off at all. As for the hot tub I am sure someone else will come along and help with that. Use the Pool Math app to help with how much to add.
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,108
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Welcome to the forum!

If you have persistent dead algae, you need to follow the SLAM Process. Have a read through the process and let us know your questions.
 
Cheers guys - a couple of followup questions:
So, I'll fix the pH first before I SLAM - using Muriatic Acid (which brand is preferred - and how much Muriatic should be used?) And this should then help the TA.

When I SLAM, since my CYA level is 60 then I should get the FC to 24 ppm using liquid chlorine - is there a preferred brand? To get the FC from 9, up to 24 - how much would you anticipate needed on hand before I begin? 10 Gallons? 100 Gallons?
I'll keep checking the FC levels a couple of times a day using the FAS-DPD test, I'll keep the filter and pump going 24/7, and I'll turn the SWG off until SLAM is complete.
If I understand the process correctly, I continue to dose the FC to 24ppm throughout each day until an overnight test returns a result of 23ppm. Then I am done, I can turn the filter/pump/swg back to normal - and all should be right with the world, the FC will slowly drift down to the correct level of 5-6ppm? The SWG if operating properly should maintain FC levels within normal ranges etc? Is that correct?

Once SLAM is complete, then I'll retest all levels (pH/TA/FC/CH/CYA/salt) and continue managing and tweaking them as needed. Is there anything particular with the levels to be on the lookout once a SLAM process is finished?

I appreciate the help - many thanks.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,108
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Use PoolMath for amounts of chemicals to use. Enter your test data and touch which item you wish to adjust. Consider making it a Premium subscription to save all your data.

I get muriatic acid at Home Depot. But beware it is sold in two strengths, both about the same price. The 31.45% one is full strength.
I get liquid chlorine, when needed, there too. But I believe the S Cal areas has HASA dealers that may be better for liquid chlorine, and possibly acid too.
The SLAM process this time of year can be slower due to cold water. So realize that you may only have a drop of 1 ppm FC overnight, but that is only one factor of the three to pass the SLAM. If you are still getting dead algae, continue the SLAM until that disappears. Read the SLAM article very closely.

Once finished, follow Recommended Levels
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,108
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Should I SLAM before increasing CYA, or increase CYA first?
SLAM at current CYA. No real reason to raise CYA until April or so. Depending on where you live in 'Southern California'.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,108
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I would not add any CYA until closer to summer.
 
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Auburn02

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2019
200
Mobile, AL
Did the pool guy just sweep it or was it vacuumed. I wouldn't think sweeping would do anything other than give the appearance of a clean pool until it all settles again on the bottom.
This is my question as well. Not that a full SLAM will hurt anything, but even after a SLAM the dead algae has to be removed so it very well could be all dead and just needs to be vacuumed in the first place. Plus you recorded 0 CC, which I thought that was the indicator for requiring a SLAM. Being that it's winter and you're starting fresh, I'd say vacuum first, then SLAM, then see if you get any more dead stuff to vacuum.
 
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Thanks guys - we just had a lot of rain, so now that is all gone today is Day #1 for me. Fixing the pH and TA today, and a vacuum - then I’ll start the SLAM tomorrow or when the ph and TA are in a better range. I appreciate all the help. Here we go!
 
Hi all,
I started a SLAM 9 days ago and wanted to check in to see if I am still doing everything right. I'm using the FAS/DPD test. Before I started the algae was a consistent brown dust on the floor that would puff away when brushed. Re-settling within a couple of hours. It had been present for several months before I started the SLAM.

Before I started, CYA was 60 - so my target FC has been 24. I've been testing and brushing at least 2 times per day every day. I noticed a fairly significant improvement in algae after the first couple of days - but there seems to have been a plateau over the last 4-5 days. The FC will fall erratically, sometimes only to 22-21, other days to 17-18. There doesn't seem to be a pattern to it. The filter has been running 24/7. It's a DE filter and the pressure has remained consistent, I backwashed before starting.
I just tested my CYA again today, and it has fallen to 40.
My question is - am I doing everything right and just need to continue on for a few more days? I am currently on Day 9, does this seem like a typical timeline so far? Since the algae has been present for months - is it going to take a little longer to complete the SLAM?

Any input/ suggestions/ validation is welcome. Thanks all. It's been a good battle so far, I feel like I got the upperhand early on, but algae is putting up a strong fight.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,108
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The main part of SLAM is the M for maintain. So that means testing FC and adding liquid chlorine back to your SLAM level FC several times per day. The more often, the faster the process goes.

Also -- have you drained out 1/3 of your pool water and replaced with fresh water? That is the only way your CYA went from 60 to 40 in a short period of time.
 
Thanks - I'll stay on it and Maintain, glad to hear I'm on the right track. I'll up the FC more often as I can - I just ordered the testkit refill which I'll need soon. I haven't replaced any water so can't explain the drop in CYA unless it was tester error. I started the SLAM just a day or so after some very heavy rain for multiple days. During the rain I had to drain about an inch from the pool levels - I did not refill any.
 
An update and some questions. I’m still SLAMMINg, day 16 now which I’m surprised by. I’ve been consistent at checking the levels two to 4 times a day and adding chlorine as needed, I’ve added chlorine every time I’ve tested - erring on the side of adding more than less. I must have added close to 20gallons of chlorine (10%) since I’ve started.
Yesterday evening I raised the FC to about 28 out of frustration and there was a decent amount of dead algae on the floor this morning. I’m brushing diligently once or twice a day, I’ve vacuumed every day the last few days.
I just retested my CYA level and it is 40,I guess tester error before I started the SLAM?

I’m happy to keep going as needed, but it seems like it’s taking longer than it should? I’ve had the SWG turned off since beginning as suggested - should I raise the CYA to make the chlorine more effective? How would you suggest to do this during the slam?

Starting to get a little frustrated because I’ve tried to do everything right.... the filter has been going 24/7 and I’m starting to look at the energy costs etc...
All advice and suggestions are welcome. Thanks all!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,108
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Adding CYA does not make the chlorine more effective. Maintaining SLAM level FC is all that is needed.

Be sure to check all hiding places for algae. Light niches, skimmer weir door, etc.
 
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