Flocking

barryjmizell

Member
Jun 9, 2019
14
Poplarville, MS
Hello all. I am new to this forum and still learning. I have an older in ground roughly 28K gallons. I have a hayward pump and sand filter. I used a local pool guy to install a new vynil liner and maintain my pool while we settled in our new old home. House is almost 100 years old. I took over about a year ago. I have learned a lot and did great till about three or four weeks ago.

My trouble began when my test strips expired, I know strips are bad, not going to use them anymore. I bought a new liquid test kit. Anyways, my stabilizer level increased somehow and I ended up having to do a partial drain and refill. I then developed a wicked algae bloom. I slammed the pool an killed off the bloom. My water started to clear up nicely, but when I dosed my pool with a copper algaecide, as instructed by a Leslies pool supply salesman, it clouded back up. I then tried a clarifier (natural chemistry clear and perfect, which has worked well for me in the past) to no results.

I consulted my pool , and he thinks a couple old galvanized valves are sucking air, and causing my filter not to prime and function properly. I also noticed a leak at my pvc pipe from pump to filter leaking water. In a desperate attempt to clear this pool in time for the wedding, I attempted to flock and manual vacuum it. I started this process last night, with instruction from the guy at Leslies. The guy at leslies said to vacuum before the sun hits the pool, as it can bring the contaminates back to the surface. 12 hours later I can see some results from the flocking process, but water is still awful cloudy. My current question is, Do I wait longer to for the flock to work, or do I need to vacuum before the sun hits?

I realize this is covering multiple issues in one thread, and it might not be under the correct category, but I am I a bind and pressed for time.

Thanks for any input.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Barry, welcome to TFP! :wave: Unfortunately, just about eveyrthing you have mentioned above is opposite of what we would recommend. Let me break it down for you this way:
- Floc and clarifiers will not kill or remove algae. They may help to coagulate some of it, but you still have it. Same with the algaecide which unfortunately now added copper to your water and you never want that either. All bad advice from the pool store.
- You may have shocked the pool, but you didn't SLAM Process it per TFP instructions. To SLAM means continuing to follow those instructions until you pass all 3 criteria, and you must have a TF-10 or Taylor K-2006C test kit to do so.

So if you really want to have a trouble free pool, you must get one of those test kits ASAP and stop adding other products. I recomend the TF-100 (XL Option with speedstir). It will serve you well. For now, use only regular bleach to increase your FC level. Once you get the proper test kit, post all your test results and we'll help you further. Let us know if you have any questions.
 

Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
11,497
SW PA
First off.... welcome to TFP.
Second... stay out of the Pool Store. You've made it to the best pool site on the web now.
Thirdly... we dont use magic potions her like floc, copper algecides and whatnot that the pool stores sell.
Fourth...You're going to need one of the recommended test lists which is either a k2006c or the TF100 which most of us use to gain control of our pools back. You can order it at tftestkits.net.
Lastly... stop using stabilized chlorine. Only unscented liquid chlorine that is purchased in the pool aisle at Walmart. Its 10%. Dont get the easy pour, smelly, fanciful stuff in the laundry aisle.

Oh and read the Pool School articles. The ABCs of pool water chemistry will get you started.
 

barryjmizell

Member
Jun 9, 2019
14
Poplarville, MS
I understand what you both are saying. As I stated before these procedures were taken in a desperate attempt to clear the pool up quickly, as I will have 100 people here for a wedding on Saturday. I don't think flocking is the magical answer to my problem. My question about the flock, and about the pump possibly sucking air and causing filtration issues where completely overlooked, and a recommendation on a new test kit was given. A new test kit will do no good to me if my equipment is not working properly. I understood this to be a site that helps a person learn, but both times I have posted on this forum the answer to my question is "you just need to buy this test kit, or that test kit..." or you are posting this in the wrong place.
 

homegameroom

Bronze Supporter
Sep 23, 2015
237
Sunrise,FL
My .02: Most of the algaecides and/or combo algaecides/flocculants (water clarifiers) that are available at the pool store will cloud the water - heaven only knows what is in them. The water will clear up eventually, but only time and good filtration will fix that. Don't bother adding more stuff to the water - it will not help.

If you have a wedding this weekend (TOMORROW!) I would:
SLAM it SLAM - Shock Level and Maintain - Trouble Free Pool - add LIQUID CHLORINE ONLY to get it to SLAM level. This is difficult for you to do ( and for the forum to guide you) because you really need to know an accurate stabilizer (CYA) level to SLAM properly.
Make sure the filter does not clog up. If the filter is working at all, worry about any leaks later. Backwash or clean it when you see the pressure rise ~25% from baseline. RUN IT 24/7 if possible!
Vacuum it as needed and/or brush the sides.

If the filter has truly given up the ghost, just add liquid chlorine and stir it up a bit for the wedding this weekend. After the weekend, head to the Pool School link at the left and read it - and stop going to the pool store for advice. Your wallet and your pool will thank you!
 
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Keep in mind this thread is posted in the Algae - Prevention & Treatment sub-forum. As such, that is our primary focus. For floc, if you vacuumed to waste, it may not have harmed anything. Again, it will have no bearing on clearing your pool of algae. In fact, unless you do a complete drain, nothing will remove algae by tomorrow. If you vacuumed the floc to the sand (hopefully not), it's ruined and will need to be changed.

For the pump sucking-in air, you may need to start a new thread in the proper equipment sub-forum. But I can say that you should review the Suction Side Air Leaks - Trouble Free Pool for immediate areas to consider. An air leak can play havoc with pump prime (not filter) and cause some other issues, but not contibute to algae. Also you have not yet updated your signature with all of your pool and equipment info. That will help tremendously later.

Beyond that, there is no doubt algae will inhibit proper filtering and cause more problems as time goes on. While a proper test kit cannot resolve an air leak, many pool and equipment issues are masked by improper chemistry and algae that restrcts water flow. The test kit is an inherent part of that process.

TFP is a site that helps thousands of pool owners each year, and the volunteers that help do so because they were once struggling and/or got ripped-off by the pool store. To avoid loss of funds, time, and frustration, we must be clear about what pool owners need to achieve a trouble-free pool, and it does indeed start with proper (home) water testing.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
4,499
NW Ohio
We have seen the same story over and over again and know the proper way to direct those people in fixing the problems, and so answer the questions the same way. There are requirements to helping a person learn about and fix their pool and everyone is directing you towards those requirements.

If you want it clear by tomorrow, dump it all and have new water trucked in so you can refill instantly. That is literally the only way. The people you have taken advice from have screwed up your water pretty bad and it would take far more than a day to clear it up.
 
Last edited:

barryjmizell

Member
Jun 9, 2019
14
Poplarville, MS
My .02: Most of the algaecides and/or combo algaecides/flocculants (water clarifiers) that are available at the pool store will cloud the water - heaven only knows what is in them. The water will clear up eventually, but only time and good filtration will fix that. Don't bother adding more stuff to the water - it will not help.

If you have a wedding this weekend (TOMORROW!) I would:
SLAM it SLAM - Shock Level and Maintain - Trouble Free Pool - add LIQUID CHLORINE ONLY to get it to SLAM level. This is difficult for you to do ( and for the forum to guide you) because you really need to know an accurate stabilizer (CYA) level to SLAM properly.
Make sure the filter does not clog up. If the filter is working at all, worry about any leaks later. Backwash or clean it when you see the pressure rise ~25% from baseline. RUN IT 24/7 if possible!
Vacuum it as needed and/or brush the sides.

If the filter has truly given up the ghost, just add liquid chlorine and stir it up a bit for the wedding this weekend. After the weekend, head to the Pool School link at the left and read it - and stop going to the pool store for advice. Your wallet and your pool will thank you!
Thank you. I have ran my pump in filtration non stop throughout this whole ordeal. About three weeks now until I shut it off last night for the flocking process. I backwashes it before I started, and replaced my prairie gauge. I have seen no change in pressure, which leads me to believe my finger is not working. I had my sand replaced last year, with ruby sand, which was supposed to be more efficient that regular sand.
Keep in mind this thread is posted in the Algae - Prevention & Treatment sub-forum. As such, that is our primary focus. For floc, if you vacuumed to waste, it may not have harmed anything. Again, it will have no bearing on clearing your pool of algae. In fact, unless you do a complete drain, nothing will remove algae by tomorrow. If you vacuumed the floc to the sand (hopefully not), it's ruined and will need to be changed.

For the pump sucking-in air, you may need to start a new thread in the proper equipment sub-forum. But I can say that you should review the Suction Side Air Leaks - Trouble Free Pool for immediate areas to consider. An air leak can play havoc with pump prime (not filter) and cause some other issues, but not contibute to algae. Also you have not yet updated your signature with all of your pool and equipment info. That will help tremendously later.

Beyond that, there is no doubt algae will inhibit proper filtering and cause more problems as time goes on. While a proper test kit cannot resolve an air leak, many pool and equipment issues are masked by improper chemistry and algae that restrcts water flow. The test kit is an inherent part of that process.

TFP is a site that helps thousands of pool owners each year, and the volunteers that help do so because they were once struggling and/or got ripped-off by the pool store. To avoid loss of funds, time, and frustration, we must be clear about what pool owners need to achieve a trouble-free pool, and it does indeed start with proper (home) water testing.
thank you and I’m sorry for my Snipiness. I’m just a little frustrated, overworked and a little stressed. I just spend $60 on a new test kit from the pool supply store, and hundreds of dollars on chemicals that didn’t work. I know you are all here to help. I will order the test kit you recommended, update my signature as soon as I can, and we will give your methods a try. I just need to get through this weekend first.
 

barryjmizell

Member
Jun 9, 2019
14
Poplarville, MS
Barry, welcome to TFP! :wave: Unfortunately, just about eveyrthing you have mentioned above is opposite of what we would recommend. Let me break it down for you this way:
- Floc and clarifiers will not kill or remove algae. They may help to coagulate some of it, but you still have it. Same with the algaecide which unfortunately now added copper to your water and you never want that either. All bad advice from the pool store.
- You may have shocked the pool, but you didn't SLAM Process it per TFP instructions. To SLAM means continuing to follow those instructions until you pass all 3 criteria, and you must have a TF-10 or Taylor K-2006C test kit to do so.

So if you really want to have a trouble free pool, you must get one of those test kits ASAP and stop adding other products. I recomend the TF-100 (XL Option with speedstir). It will serve you well. For now, use only regular bleach to increase your FC level. Once you get the proper test kit, post all your test results and we'll help you further. Let us know if you have any questions.
Where do I order this TF-100xl with Speed stir? Is that made by Taylor?
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,793
Tallahassee, FL
If you want it clear by tomorrow, dump it all and have new water trucked in so you can refill instantly. That is literally the only way. The people you have taken advice from have screwed up your water pretty bad and it would take far more than a day to clear it up.
For now THIS ^^^^^^^^^^ is the only thing that will get your pool clear for the wedding. If you had another week you might be able to get is at least presentable.

If you cannot do that then I say get some pretty sheets or curtains and hang them on the patio to block the view to the pool. White curtains with some pretty fairy lights would be very pretty!

Once the wedding is over we can/will work on the other stuff.
 

barryjmizell

Member
Jun 9, 2019
14
Poplarville, MS
For now THIS ^^^^^^^^^^ is the only thing that will get your pool clear for the wedding. If you had another week you might be able to get is at least presentable.

If you cannot do that then I say get some pretty sheets or curtains and hang them on the patio to block the view to the pool. White curtains with some pretty fairy lights would be very pretty!

Once the wedding is over we can/will work on the other stuff.
My pool really isn’t an eye sore. There’s no green. It’s just not clear.
 

jwhop3

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2014
139
Rocky Mount/Virginia
In the absence of a reliable test kit, dump two gallons of 6% or higher bleach per 10,000 gallons. It's best to do this at night to prevent the chlorine from evaporating in the sun. In the morning, turn off you pump and let everything settle to the bottom. The water should clear, and you will see a layer of dead algae on the floor, which you can vacuum to waste, then top your water off.

One thing I always remind folks during the SLAM process is do not forget to also maintain pH of 7.6 to 7.8, and TA of 100-120, as this is the best range for chlorine to operate. Large amounts of bleach can really skew these readings, so even if using a dipstick, stay on top of those numbers, and only use BBB (bleach, baking soda, Borax) from here on out.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
34,051
Sebring, Florida
I think it is misleading to suggest to OP he can make SIGNIFICANT improvement on his pool in the next 24 hours.

Far more realistic to accept what has happened and enjoy your weekend wedding. You will lose too many great memories if you dwell on clearing your pool ......it just CANT be done in the time allotted.

Fix the pool after a great weekend........not one guest will care about the color of your pool
 
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jwhop3

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2014
139
Rocky Mount/Virginia
Okay, I just saw your 28,000 gallons in your top post, so without a proper test kit, you should be able to dump 8 bottles 6% bleach.

Barry, if you are comfortable with doing it, I would really like to see a video of your pool and pump in operation. Could you record your pump, filter and connecting lines and related valves, preferable with audio, and the pool return outlets (where the water squirts out back into the pool), and inside any skimmers (where the water is sucked out of the pool). Please avoid anything that would identify your address or location, we just want to see and hear the operation of your pool and what the water looks like.

We've all been that first-time visitor, and we've all been bitten by the snakeoil salesman at the pool store. It's hard to believe that a $3 bottle of bleach is as effective as a $30 box of pool shock, or safe to pour in your pool, but it is, and it is. Subscribe to our methods and you won't be sorry.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
thank you and I’m sorry for my Snipiness. I’m just a little frustrated, overworked and a little stressed. I just spend $60 on a new test kit from the pool supply store, and hundreds of dollars on chemicals that didn’t work.
We totally understand. I think each & every one of us have been in your position. Once the dust settles this weekend and your kit arrives, we'll coach you through all your options and equipment concerns. No worries.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
What test kit did you buy from the pool store? It may contain most of what you need and you may just need to add the FAS-DPD chlorine test and likely some extra CYA reagent.
 

barryjmizell

Member
Jun 9, 2019
14
Poplarville, MS
So I gave up on trying to clear the pool, or trying to resolve my filter issues in time for the wedding. I just used the pool math app and my test kit to make sure my water was balanced and sanitized to keep my algae bloom from coming back. The pool cleared up in time for the wedding, and was crystal clear this morning, so me and my wife took a swim for the first time in a month. I am going to make some time after dark tonight to read through the pool school section and update my signature. There is obviously a lot that I still have to learn.

I am very satisfied with the pool math app. I see a real difference in it and the Leslie’s pool store app I have been using, and I can “clearly” see a difference in my pool water.
 
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