Green Water ... What to Do ....

fatcat07

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2009
92
Hello all,

I just opening my pool yesterday, 06/27/10 and of course the water is very green with algae floating around on top of the water and stuck to the side of my vinyl liner. A little information about my pool:


1) 18 X 36
2) 30,000 gallons
3) Hayward Filer DE2420
4) Hayward pump - Not sure on the model just know it is self priming
5) I havn't taken any chemical readings yet.

Once I got the filter and pump working, I added 6 gallons of bleach and 3 packets of shock. The filter pressure value is usally sitting between 15 and 20, once it gets to about 25 I backwash. I had to backwash at least 4 times yesterady between the hours of 11:00 am and 09:00 pm.

The water doesnt look any clear, so I need to know if I need to do anything besides shocking the pool ? Also do I need to shock the pool after every backwash ?
 

fatcat07

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2009
92
Thanks JohnT

I wasn't sure about gathering the chemical readings, the local pool guys usally only what the readings when the water is blue/clear. I will read your links and post the chemical readings once I get home.

Thanks
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,476
SW Indiana
fatcat07 said:
Thanks JohnT

I wasn't sure about gathering the chemical readings, the local pool guys usally only what the readings when the water is blue/clear. I will read your links and post the chemical readings once I get home.

Thanks
You are going to need hourly test results, so it's going to be difficult to rely on a pool store for your testing.
 

fatcat07

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2009
92
I will pick up a kit on the way home .... any recommendtions on which kit to get ? and from reading the links you attached I will also be picking up a bucket of shock ... some stabilizer for the CYA ..... not sure what to get to for the pH level ?
 
Jun 28, 2010
6
If you have algae, the general prescription consists of applying enough chlorine to eradicate it, followed by a daily or weekly regimen of chlorine at a level indicated by the amount of CYA in the water. Try consulting some professional regarding with your issues.
 

poolgirl22

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2010
595
Stephens City, VA
fatcat07 said:
I will pick up a kit on the way home .... any recommendtions on which kit to get ? and from reading the links you attached I will also be picking up a bucket of shock ... some stabilizer for the CYA ..... not sure what to get to for the pH level ?
Most of us here use either of the two test kits outlined in the article in Pool School that compares them.
In the interim, I think walmart has a 6 way kit for around 20.00 that will suffice in the meantime. Not the strips...it's a bunch of liquid reagents.
However, you will not be able to do many tests with it so I'd get on ordering one of the ones we all use ASAP.

If a pool store won't test green water, then find a different store. That's just poor service. How are you supposed to get a clear pool if a green pool can't be diagnosed???

I would only use liquid pool chlorine or bleach until you have an idea of what your water chemistry is like. You'll need lots of it. And whether you need ph increaser or decreaser is yet to be determined. You'll need borax to increase and muriatic acid to decrease. But again, until there's some numbers attached, you just don't know..
 

fatcat07

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2009
92
Thanks all .... I almost want to leave work early to work on the pool :-D It is great to have some sort of direction .....
Ok ... just to make sure Im on the right track .... the plan is:

1) Stop at Walmart and pick-up a 6-way water tester
2) Pick up alot of liquid chlorine.
3) Get home add the chlorine and test the water
Question ? What is the shock level for FC ?
4) Verify my pH is between 7.2 and 7.4 and adjust accordingly.
Question ? Is there any household item I can use to either add or take away from the pH level ?
5) Verify my CYA level and adjust accordingly.
Question ? What is an exceptable level for CYA ? Is there any household item I can use to either add or take away from the CYA level ?


Thanks to all for quick responses .... As you can see from some of my questions I am trying to get away from the pool stores :rant: .... It is a money issue, ever time I walk in it seems that I need a whole lot of stuff ??? and the stuff ain't cheap. I know that I will need to spend money to maintain my pool that isnt a problem, I just need to know were I can cut some corners ...trim some fat ... .. thanks again
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,063
SouthWest Alabama
Here's my order of things.

1) I'd bypass the 6-way kit and order a TF-100 right to begin with.
2) Thumbs up on that one!
3) Test water for pH, CYA, FC.
4) Adjust pH to 7.2.
Answer Yes & no. 20 mule team borax (a household item) will raise pH and muriatic acid (Not a household item) will lower it.
5) Add bleach to get to shock level for your CYA.
6) Add CYA to get to about 30ppm. You can raise it after you're finished shocking.
Answer No, there is no common household item to add CYA. You'll have to get it specifically. Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, Etc. carry it. Look for stabilizer or conditioner. The ingredient will be Cyanuric Acid.
 

fatcat07

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2009
92
Hello all,

1st for all the responses, it helps to speak to knowledgeable people who aren't trying to sell me $300.00 worth of chemicals !!! :goodjob:

Ok ... I have the chemical levels:

FC = 0
pH = 7.0
TA= 30
Calcium Hardness = 80
CYA = 0
Phosphates = 1000

So I think I wasted the 6 gallons of bleach and 3 bags of shock I added yesterday :| since my FC and CYA are at 0.

So I did go to the pool store to pick up some supplies and I showed the pool tech my numbers just to price how much the chemicals I needed would cost ??? ...sorry to drone on about this but forget the pool ... I'm in shock.

so what should I do now .... any help is appreciated ! and anything I can pick up at the supermarket and save me some money would be great. If I have to buy at the pool store, I will because I do need to have my pool ready by the weekend.
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
Right now, you need to get one of the "good" test kits ordered (TF-100 from www.tftestkits.net or Taylor K-2006, either one will likely need to be ordered online.)

You need to add CYA to your pool. You can pick up HTH brand CYA at Wal-Mart, I'd target at least 30 ppm for right now using www.poolcalculator.com.

You will need to test FC and add chlorine (preferably liquid chlorine or bleach - same thing) hourly until you are starting to hold a FC level. Once you've added your CYA, the next day, use that as your "current" CYA level (it likely won't show up on a test, just give it a week) and get your FC to shock level and hold it there. You need to test as much as hourly if you can until your FC starts to hold and then you can back off to two or three times a day until you're done shocking.

If any of that doesn't make sense, just ask.
 

fatcat07

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2009
92
ok ... so this is what I got from the "Pool Calculator" when I plugged in my numbers:

FC = 3 gallons of bleach
pH = 5 lbs of Borax or 2 lbs of washing soda/soda ash
TA = 26 lbs 0f baking soda
CH = 19 lbs 0f calcium chloride (Where can I buy this ?)
CYA = 10 lbs of stabilizer

I am a little confused about the timing of using all these chemicals, If I am reading "loughps" response correctly I should focus on the FC and CYA at first. I should add the CYA 1st and wait how long before I add the bleach ? or should I add the CYA and the bleach at the same time and keep adding bleach until it takes ?

Once again thanks ....
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
You should add what pool surface you have to your signature. Is it vinyl, fiberglass, gunite, concrete, etc. That will help determine what, if anything, we need to suggest for your CH.

Other than pool surface, I would say add chlorine and add the CYA. If it were me, I'd add chlorine tonight as if I had no CYA. I'd put the CYA in a sock and put it in front of a return and let it start dissolving. It may take it a few days for it to dissolve, but that doesn't matter (if you're impatient, you can "massage" the sock for it to dissolve faster, but it's not necessary.) If you already have liquid stabilizer on hand, you can add it and immediately treat the pool as if it had that much CYA in it. For the sock method, I'd give it 24 hours and then treat the pool as if it had the full level of CYA.

Basically, CYA and chlorine can be added independently. It doesn't matter how soon or how long you wait. Remember that chlorine is consumable and you'll need to be test for and adding it regularly. Once the CYA is added, it can take a week to fully show up on your test, just assume it's there for the time being.

Hope that helps.
 

fatcat07

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2009
92
Hello all,

Sorry it took so long to answer, I had to run to Wal-Mart :mrgreen: .... I Have a Vinyl Line

Ok ...I was able to get the stabilizer, Bleach, and Baking soda, I couldn't find the Borax, washing soda or soda ash ? I will try another store tomorrow see if I can find those items.

I backwashed placed a sock full of stabilier in front of each of my two skimmers and poured in 3 gallons of bleach. The "Pool Calculator" called for 10 lbs of stabilizer, so I put 4 lbs, 2 in each sock for now. Tomorrow I will refill the sock with more stabilizer.

Any thoughts on were to find the calcium chloride for my "CH" level, also were can I find the items I wasn't able to find in Wal-Mart (Borax, washing soda or soda ash).

Thanks
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,179
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
Vinyl liner means don't worry about the CH.
Borax is usually in the laundry aisle by the detergents.
If you can't find the washing soda, look for "PH Up" or "PH increaser" or something like that in the pool aisle.
 

fatcat07

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2009
92
Thanks ..... that is so funny because the pool store almost had me convinced that if I didn't raise the "CH" level (Calcium Hardness = 80) my vinyl liner would crack and become brittle :hammer:
 

poolgirl22

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2010
595
Stephens City, VA
fatcat07 said:
Thanks ..... that is so funny because the pool store almost had me convinced that if I didn't raise the "CH" level (Calcium Hardness = 80) my vinyl liner would crack and become brittle :hammer:
They told me the other day that my 425 was going to eat a hole through my liner and if I didnt' add metal out soon things were going to be really bad.. Next day another store tested my CH at 275. :blah:
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
While you're dealing with the green water, I wouldn't worry too much about anything other than your chlorine. You need to keep an eye on your pH, but low pH will help the chlorine work. You could bring it up to 7.2, but don't aim for the middle of the range yet. Also, if you're going to raise your TA, which I think you should a little bit, depending on what you use, that could bring your pH up a little bit too. Baking Soda will move TA a lot and pH barely at all, borax or washing soda will move them both up and you can use "effects of adding chemicals" at the bottom of the poolcalculator to see how much.

While you're learning and fighting algae, I don't recommend just tossing in whatever the pool calculator tells you to. Ask questions until you understand what each thing does for different pool types and situations. Blindly following the "standard" is how you get told that low calcium will make your liner brittle. The pool store is just following a standard and has often invented reasons why you must always to A or always do B.

Mainly you need to make sure you're holding chlorine at shock level, brushing, vacuuming and cleaning your filter. That is the shortest path to clear water. After that we can make all the minor adjustments.
 

fatcat07

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2009
92
Thanks all ...... I am still new at this and was a little overwelmed at first :? .... but now I feel I am getting somewhere.

So yesterday was up until 02:00 am massaging the sock full of stabilizer in front of my skimmers and checking the FC level to keep it it at 10. This morning woke up to pool that seem at least 70% clearer :whoot: , I was able to see the bottom and sides of the pool. I checked the FC level and it was at about 6, so I backwash and added another 3 gallons of bleach and started to brush the sides and bottom of the pool to get the algae (?) that had settled there loose in the pool and have the filter clean it out.

Since I am at work my wife should be adding another 2 gallons of bleach at about 12 noon, which will hopefully keep the FC level high until I get home at 06:00 pm.

A couple of questions:
1) About the "sock full of stabilizer in front of my skimmers", the instrutions on the bottle (HTH Stabilizer and conditioner) instruct you to add directly to the skimmer. The question: Wouldn't this dissolve the product quicker than the sock method ?
2) I am primarily focusing on just the FC and CYA levels until I get the green water cleared and algae off of the sides and bottom of my pool. The question: At what point do I start taking the other levels ie. TA, pH, CH into consideration ?

So tonight when I get home I will start the serious brushing and vaccuming of the pool, and hopefully have it ready for Staurday :goodjob:
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,476
SW Indiana
fatcat07 said:
1) About the "sock full of stabilizer in front of my skimmers", the instrutions on the bottle (HTH Stabilizer and conditioner) instruct you to add directly to the skimmer. The question: Wouldn't this dissolve the product quicker than the sock method ?
Yes, but if you have to backwash your filter, you'll lose any CYA that hasn't dissolved yet.

2) I am primarily focusing on just the FC and CYA levels until I get the green water cleared and algae off of the sides and bottom of my pool. The question: At what point do I start taking the other levels ie. TA, pH, CH into consideration ?

When you have the chlorine back down to normal level after the water clears. You can't test pH at shock chlorine level, and none of the other levels are as important in the short-term as chlorine. One day with low chlorine can start an algae bloom or let it get restarted. One month with pH or TA out of range a little is no big deal.

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