Do I need to replaster?

Cybernurse

Gold Supporter
Jun 15, 2015
59
Albuquerque NM
Really messed up my pool!

First, my apologies for this long post. it been a heck of a 24 hour period, but I am so glad for all the information and the expert advise I find here.

Welllll... I truly messed up my water! This last couple of years I was using TFP pool care and Maintenence.This year, due to several changes in my schedule, I went back to Pucks and dichlor shock. I know, BAAAAD idea, but there you have it.
I won’t go into all the sordid details, lets just start with where I am now. I was testing every other day or so, and up until last week, everything was Within Defined Limits (WDL) except CYA was low at 10PPM. I added some to a sock and let it run over the return for about 24 hours . This brought it to 30, which In was happy with. We got way more rain than we usually get in New Mexico this season.
I had an algae bloom , Shocked with initially 2 lbs Sodium hypochlorite/dichlor shock, then another 2 lbs and all was good, cleared up.
2 days later, literally right before my eyes, it turned green again. I shocked again with 2 lb -3 lb doses over 2 days, and it just kept getting worse, way green/yellow. Total shock used 21-22 lbs. Still no change in algae. Now I cannot even get a free chlorine or CYA reading on my Taylor DPS K2006 test kit,they are both off the scale. Of course, I came back here and spent all day in the forum reading about my particular problems, learning all about CYA and Over-stabilization, and generally refreshing past lessons learned. As usual, I again have learned a lot.

So here is where I think I am at:
-Finally got a CYA reading using dilution methods posted here, it is extraordinary....wait for it .... CYA= 400-450 !!!!!😵
-Best guesstimate on FC is is probably between 35-45. The sample turns pink then quickly bright orange with just 1 scoop of powder, adding more scoops slightly deepens the orange color. I saw a post on this same problem,the solution for that gentleman was to clean everything in the test kit with bleach. This did not work for me. I tried using Drop DPD color comparison method that my kit will also do using dilution, that is how I came up with the guesstimate.
-Cannot truly start a SLAM until I drastically reduce CYA due to the high free chlorine to CYA ratio ,it requires a SLAM FC of 39 or more,which I am probably actually at, but will be hard to maintain.
-My pool is waaaayyy past due for a plaster resurfacing, which I have finally saved up for and I’ll do at the end of this season, so I REALLY don’t want to drain it now, since a full drain is in the near future.
-Today is a very important birthday for my son and of course we planned a pool party, so in desperation, I got some Chlorine Neutralizer, which does not actually list the chemical ingredients ( not sure how the get away with that) but I’m guessing it’s Sodium Sulfite or Thiosulfite. I am using it cautiously, since it is an enemy product and all!😁Might be working?
-Pool this morning after multiple brushing’s last night and testing is actually improving,still can’t see the bottom but green is significantly less. I believe this tells me the high chlorine level is actually working on the algae, it is just much slower. Therefore I am now wondering if I should NOT reduce the chlorine to swim level (if that is even possible in the time I have)
SO, this brings me to my questions for you experts, thank you in advance for any thoughts, ideas,or opportunities for fun that may be hiding just under the surface.
  1. Since I just need to hold out for the rest of this season, then will do a full drain after resurfacing, but do not want to cause any further damages and will have a difficult time maintaining the high chorine levels, what If I were to convert it to a Bromine pool for the rest of the season? My limited understanding of bromine is that the CYA level is not so critical with a bromine pool?
  2. Did 22 or so pounds of Sodium Dichlor shock really increase my CYS from 30 to 400 in a few days? There is not a lot of choices for unstabilized chlorine, liquid chlorine is scare in New Mexico. Beware the liquid chlorine from Lowes at a really cheap price, it all seems to be way out of date and my experience was it was very ineffective for its advertised strength. In one of the post, someone said not to use Chlorox? I’m confused, I thought any bleach was fine as long as it had none of the fru-fru’s like scents, etc.
  3. Any other ideas on the bright Orange color while trying to test Chlorine? I confirmed the reagent were not expired, tested on my city water, which has chlorine, everything worked fine. I didn’t find anything specific to the Orange color at Taylor, and I’m sure we can assume it is something to do it the wacky water “balance” right now or perhaps the Chlorine reducer? I know it is the least of my problems but I’m kinda interested in odd and unusual happenings. According to a post in March 2019 by Joyful Noise, a TFP expert “The DPD indicator should not turn orange. The color a specific dye assumes is based entirely on the molecule itself and it’s atomic structure as well as electron configuration. Orange is very different from the magenta/pink color of the oxidized dye molecule. An orange color would indicate a different absorption happening.”
  4. Basically, please advise on how I might handle the pool for the rest of the season to minimize damage etc, and what I should do now if you have suggestions or idea’s.It is an old pool but its what I got.
  5. Lastly, is there a forum to find older model used parts etc I might look at here at TFP?

Thank you all again for any help or ideas you might have.I apologize for the inordinately long post. I am certainly open to suggestions on streamlining my posts and cutting out unnecessary information .
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,747
Northern NJ
Quite a chemical stew you have in your pool. Let me tackle some of your questions ...

- 22lbs of dichlor will raise your FC by 100, CYA by 91, lower pH by 3.81. I would be concerned about the pH of your water and you cannot reliably test it with FC over 10.
- The dichlor alone is not enough to get your CYA to 400. I don't know what your CYA really started at or if you introduced testing errors with all the dilution. If you think your CYA was 30 + 91 says it should be in the 120 range.
- I suggest you redo your CYA test. You can probably get by the rest of the season with CYA 120 which would require maintaining a FC of around 15. A CYA of 400 would require maintaining a FC or around 40 which would be impossible to do.
- All Clorox bleach says it has Cloromax Technology which are polymers unsuitable for pool water. You have to watch what the labels say that indicate it has hidden fru-frus.
- While you are focused on getting the FC down to make the pool safe to swim I am concerned about what the pH of the water may be.

@JoyfulNoise may be able to comment on your orange FC testing problems.
 
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Rocket J Squirrel

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
554
Alamo, CA
Today is a very important birthday for my son and of course we planned a pool party

still can’t see the bottom
This is a dangerous condition. A kid sinks to the bottom and you can't see him. Maybe go bowling or mini-golf instead? If you insist on having the party anyway, you should designate a lifeguard to stay on watch full time, preferably one with some training.
 

Cybernurse

Gold Supporter
Jun 15, 2015
59
Albuquerque NM
Thank you so much for the detailed information. Sorry it took me so long to reply,
is there anything I should do about the suspected pH?

I drained water, not sure how to calculate how much but probably less than a 1/4.
I am doing a 1:4 dilution for the CYA using distilled water, 7ml pool water mixed with 28 mls distilled, mix then put 7 mls from this diluted sample into the bottle, add 7 Ml reagent, mix and read, multiply result by 5. I get 50 as a result (several times) now so it is really 250 now, is this correct? I use a syringe for the sample sizing, it’s just easier. 😁

FC is now 54. I have to dilute it 1:2.
CC=.5
Pool is clear, no more green but I have left the pump and filter running all week.
There is some small amount of this sorta black stuff on the sides, on the sunnier walls, brushes off easily. Is this black algae?
Here is a pic, hard to see though.

What is the relationship of bromine to CYA?
I hope to have time to research this, I know a little, chlorine helps the bromine fire up?
I’m still wondering if I might make it a bromine pool , then the CYA won’t matter?
Since I will be draining it at the end of this season, it does not really matter. What if the 4 ounces bromine I added 3 seasons ago (Back to Blue algae treatment) is still there? How would that change anything?

I guess I’m just grasping at straws. Thank you again for your most informative reply!
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,747
Northern NJ
pH tests with FC above 10 are not valid. It is one of the issues with maintaining a pool with high CYA.

You need to exchange a lot more water. Do you have water restrictions?
 

Cybernurse

Gold Supporter
Jun 15, 2015
59
Albuquerque NM
I think you would just multiply by 4. Your sample is diluted 4x and you are testing that sample.

I know , .....right? Me too thought this but.......
this is what Taylor says at their site: Are Dilutions Necessary When Testing
“For CYA levels at or above 100 ppm, do a dilution to obtain a more accurate reading. In a container, mix one part sample water with one part CYA-free water (tap or bottled water will do). Retest and multiply the result by 2. If the result is still too high, do another dilution, this time using one part sample water to two parts CYA-free water, and multiply the result by 3. For a 1:4 dilution, the multiplier is 5. Once the reading is within the scale, you are finished.”
I sure would prefer multiplying by 4 though!😉.🧪💉🔬

I did another drain, testing now.
 

Cybernurse

Gold Supporter
Jun 15, 2015
59
Albuquerque NM
I think we do have restrictions, I know the water authority talks a lot about conservation. I’ve tried to see what pertains to filling a pool online, but find nothing. I’ll have to call them in the morning I guess, but I would assume yes going forward.
 

Cybernurse

Gold Supporter
Jun 15, 2015
59
Albuquerque NM
Okayyyyy... still not sure what it means though, just fooling around? Acknowledging him? Offering to start a conversation? I don’t even know what a
“Conversation “ is in this venue. 🤭
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,747
Northern NJ
Below is the process to do a no drain water exchange:

In general, it is safer to exchange water in a pool rather than drain. The process to exchange entails determining a few factors. The temperature of your fill water versus the pool water temperature. Does the pool water have salt in it above 2000 ppm or a Calcium Hardness of 800 ppm or more? Essentially, is the pool water high in Total Dissolved Solids (TDS).

Prior to exchanging the pool water to fresh, you need to determine where is the effluent (pool water you remove) going? Some municipalities have requirements. Be sure to research that. In most areas, it is easiest and best to drain to your sewer clean out at your home. If the water has salt in it, be wary of draining to your grass or plants. It may do them harm.

You also will need a pump to remove the water from the pool. It is not advised to use your pool pump. It is a fairly expensive piece of equipment and if by chance it loses prime during the process you could damage it. A low power (1/3-1/2 hp) sump pump is a good choice. The rate at which it pumps is very dependent on what hose size and length you use to direct the effluent. If using a garden hose to a sewer cleanout, expect a flow rate of 6-9 gallons per minute.

To determine whether you pump from the deep end of the pool or from near the surface of the pool, depends on your fill and pool water characteristic.

If your fill water is much colder (>20F) then adding that water to the deep end while pumping from a top step or near the surface is recommended.

If your fill water is nearly the same temperature as the pool water, you have a saltwater pool, or have very high CH, then reverse it. Put the pump in the deep end and fill from the shallow end. If you have a skimmer in the shallow end, put the fill hose in it. If no skimmer, then use a bucket to put the water hose in and have the top of the bucket above the pool water surface. Be sure to secure the hose to the bucket.

Be sure to balance the water out and water in so the pool level stays the same. Once you have that, take the effluent hose and fill a 5 gallon bucket while timing it. Calculate your gallons per minute (gpm) from that. Then you can estimate how long to run the process. It is suggested to exchange 5-10% more water than needed to reduce your CYA/ CH/etc to account for errors.

Also be sure your pool pump is disabled during this process. Once started do not stop until you have exchanged the amount of water you wish.
 
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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,885
Tucson, AZ
The Taylor reagents are spec’d for FC that is 50ppm or below. Beyond that, you’re on unknown territory. Could be the reagents are bleaching out causing a color change.

The pool is a mess. Drain it, lightly power-wash the walls down and refill it. Then perform a SLAM. It will cost you money, but a lot less than all the fiddling around you’re doing.
 

Cybernurse

Gold Supporter
Jun 15, 2015
59
Albuquerque NM
Below is the process to do a no drain water exchange:
WOW! Thank you for the detailed information

In general, it is safer to exchange water in a pool rather than drain. The process to exchange entails determining a few factors.
The temperature of your fill water :
-76-78 degrees
versus the pool water temperature.:
-80-82 degrees

Does the pool water have salt in it above 2000 ppm:
-NOT A SALT WATER POOL, do I need to test it for salt anyway?

Calcium Hardness of 800 ppm or more? :
-it was 350-375, might be less now

Essentially, is the pool water high in Total Dissolved Solids (TDS).:
-I don’t think soooo...

Prior to exchanging the pool water to fresh, you need to determine where is the effluent (pool water you remove) going?
-DOWN THE SEWER, I had been doing it to WASTE , using the pool filter and pump.

Some municipalities have requirements. Be sure to research that. In most areas, it is easiest and best to drain to your sewer clean out at your home.

If the water has salt in it, be wary of draining to your grass or plants. It may do them harm.:
-HMMM, maybe I’ll blast those weeds with it.Maybe the Roach Motel would like a concentrated dose of some TDS too!😂

It is not advised to use your pool pump:
-Too bad!
-OOPS, BEEN USING IT all along.IT GOES REALLY FAST THATA WAY, 😁
-Pump has basically been running for 8-9 days straight.

A low power (1/3-1/2 hp) sump pump is a good choice:
-Okay, I have one of those

The rate at which it pumps is very dependent on what hose size and length you use to direct the effluent. If using a garden hose to a sewer cleanout, expect a flow rate of 6-9 gallons per minute. :
-YES, it is a garden hose size. Sewer is about 50 feet,away from pool


To determine whether you pump from the deep end of the pool or from near the surface of the pool, depends on your fill and pool water characteristic.

If your fill water is much colder (>20F) then adding that water to the deep end while pumping from a top step or near the surface is recommended.
-POOL WATER TEMP= 82
-FILL WATER Temp=76

If your fill water is nearly the same temperature as the pool water, :
-yep, it is
you have a saltwater pool, :
-Nope, JUST MASSIVE CYA AND FC.
or have very high CH, :
-Nope, it’s high but not massive

OKAY, SO ADD TO SHALLOW END, PUMP FROM DEEP END, RIGHT?

Put the pump in the deep end and fill from the shallow end. If you have a skimmer in the shallow end, :
-NO,it is in the deep

Be sure to balance the water out and water in so the pool level stays the same. Once you have that, take the effluent hose and fill a 5 gallon bucket while timing it. Calculate your gallons per minute (gpm) from that. Then you can estimate how long to run the process. It is suggested to exchange 5-10% more water than needed to reduce your CYA/ CH/etc to account for errors.

Also be sure your pool pump is disabled during this process. Once started do not stop until you have exchanged the amount of water you wish.:
-hmmm, I will need to figure how much time this I going to take.
-Awesome!
-
-My Questions. :

1.) Should I use city water to fill it? CH=182, FC=3,
Or, should I use my houses softened water?
2.) You are fairly certain this is what I need to do right?
3.) What about all the supposed algae? Deal with that later with the SLAM?

Thank you soo much for all this!
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,747
Northern NJ
@mknauss Marty, take a look at the post above. Drain from deep end or shallow end?

1.) Should I use city water to fill it? CH=182, FC=3,
Or, should I use my houses softened water?
You need at least 250 CH for a plaster pool. Your city water is best.

2.) You are fairly certain this is what I need to do right?
You need to replace 90% of your water one way or the other. The water exchange will take more water but does not put your pool at risk.

3.) What about all the supposed algae? Deal with that later with the SLAM?
With 90% fresh water and a CYA of 30 the SLAM Process to kill the remaining algae should go quickly.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,814
Damascus, MD
Question for the water change experts on an alternate fill method. Would it be ok to run the hose over the plaster while it is out of water until it is full again? So for instance, get a high power gas pump that can empty the pool in an hour, run it while hosing the pool walls down, then start the fill with the hose (or pool water trucks) keeping the plaster wet during the refill? I know that means someone standing outside for 20+ hours (maybe do shifts) if the hose is the fill method. Just curious if this would work ok. I assume in the desert there is no fear of floating the shell. I only ask because this is looking like basically a 100% water change.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,747
Northern NJ
Question for the water change experts on an alternate fill method. Would it be ok to run the hose over the plaster while it is out of water until it is full again? So for instance, get a high power gas pump that can empty the pool in an hour, run it while hosing the pool walls down, then start the fill with the hose (or pool water trucks) keeping the plaster wet during the refill? I know that means someone standing outside for 20+ hours (maybe do shifts) if the hose is the fill method. Just curious if this would work ok. I assume in the desert there is no fear of floating the shell. I only ask because this is looking like basically a 100% water change.
The water exchange method works due to the stratification of the bad water from the new water. The stratification is only maintained if the water is still. Any churn in the water will mix the water and you will not have the bad water separated from the good. That is why the pump needs to be off and once you begin the water exchange you can't stop until it is complete.

There are ways to safely do a drain if you are careful. It really depends on knowing the local conditions you are dealing with.