Have been trying to clear cloudy/algae water for 2 weeks! Need help.

BodeyBode

Member
Sep 1, 2020
8
New York
Long story short, here’s where I’m at:

I opened the pool on May 14th and have been fighting it this whole time! Hundreds of dollars in chemicals and electricity down the drain. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve backwashed.

I’ve got a 35k Gallon inground/vinyl pool
Went to pool store to get water tested around 10am today.
I added Algecide (copper based) at their recommendation after I got home.

I have 4 gallons of sodium hypochlorite 12.5% on hand and can get more at pool store tomorrow ( bought a 50lb bucket of 73%
calcium hypo from poolsupplyworld.com almost a week ago and they haven’t even shipped it yet!)

When I go to the pool Math app and click on the SLAM option it tells me that my SLAM target FC (24) is outside of the recommended range with no further explanation. In addition sodium hypochlorite doesn’t even seem to be an option, and I can only assume the proper option is Bleach.

losing my mind here. Can’t get the pool blue and can’t see the bottom.
 

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anthonypool89

Gold Supporter
Aug 26, 2016
920
Berks County, PA
I can't offer any advice on SLAM since I've never done it, but I would suggest (and I know you'll hear this from others) that you begin doing your own water testing instead of relying on pool store advice. I used to read that all the time here but never fully believed it till I got a good Taylor kit and started doing it myself. I discovered, by looking at my old pool store test printouts, that they used to make suggestions based on their test results that either were not necessary or else just not the best thing to do. I used to simply take for granted that was they had me do was the only and best way. I'm sure others will give valuable advice on what to do with the SLAM and how to get the water cleared up. I see that you do have a K2005 kit so I'd consider avoiding the store for most of your decision making. I suspect others here will agree.
 

Texas Splash

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Went to pool store to get water tested around 10am today.
That I'm afraid is the problem. Pool store testing if usually off and their advice isn't much better. The products they sell are ridiculously expensive and usually not needed. In fact, they took your money for nothing because algicides don't kill algae, and copper never leaves the pool unless you drain it. Ugh. :(

Here's what I would do:
1. Order a TF-100 (link in my signature) or Taylor K-2006C test kit. Either is great for home testing, but you need one. Then post a full set of water test results. The store results are literally useless I'm afraid.
2. Don't add anything else to the water except perhaps one gallon if liquid chlorine per day until the test kit arrives. Do not add anything else to the water except for chlorine. If you have tabs in use, remove them now.
3. Read the SLAM Process so you understand how we remove algae. No amount of backwashing will remove algae, it's a chemical issue,
4. The link below is a great resource. Start to read those sub-articles and you'll be a step ahead of the game. Oh, and if you have any unopened pool store products, see if you can return them or get store credit. :)

Let us know if you have any other questions.

 
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akd

Silver Supporter
May 24, 2017
42
Westford
If your water is still cloudy, you are not yet done with slamming and your FC based on your CYA is too low. The algae is happily consuming whatever chlorine you are feeding and burping them off. Ditch the 73% bucket as that will only get your CYA upwards from now on and you are already more than mid point at the start of the season. Liquid chlorine is your friend and if an option, vacuum to waste part of the water so you can bring your CYA a bit low with refill and then add liquid chorine (12.5% preferable) based on pool math app recommendation for SLAM. Trust your test kit results and use the Pool store readings to keep tab of your metal level and nothing else. Good luck. You can still recover soon if you take control and not follow the PS advice.
 

BodeyBode

Member
Sep 1, 2020
8
New York
I can't offer any advice on SLAM since I've never done it, but I would suggest (and I know you'll hear this from others) that you begin doing your own water testing instead of relying on pool store advice. I used to read that all the time here but never fully believed it till I got a good Taylor kit and started doing it myself. I discovered, by looking at my old pool store test printouts, that they used to make suggestions based on their test results that either were not necessary or else just not the best thing to do. I used to simply take for granted that was they had me do was the only and best way. I'm sure others will give valuable advice on what to do with the SLAM and how to get the water cleared up. I see that you do have a K2005 kit so I'd consider avoiding the store for most of your decision making. I suspect others here will agree.

I do have a k-2005 test kit and bought a fas-dpd addition that should arrive tomorrow. I find it a bit annoying to read sometimes when the colors don't exactly align so I used them to double check and I like having it printed out.
I also don't follow their printouts and will use the pool math app to figure out how much baking soda/ borax to add but I'm having issues with the SLAM instructions on the app.


That I'm afraid is the problem. Pool store testing if usually off and their advice isn't much better. The products they sell are ridiculously expensive and usually not needed. In fact, they took your money for nothing because algicides don't kill algae, and copper never leaves the pool unless you drain it. Ugh. :(

Here's what I would do:
1. Order a TF-100 (link in my signature) or Taylor K-2006C test kit. Either is great for home testing, but you need one. Then post a full set of water test results. The store results are literally useless I'm afraid.
2. Don't add anything else to the water except perhaps one gallon if liquid chlorine per day until the test kit arrives. Do not add anything else to the water except for chlorine. If you have tabs in use, remove them now.
3. Read the SLAM Process so you understand how we remove algae. No amount of backwashing will remove algae, it's a chemical issue,
4. The link below is a great resource. Start to read those sub-articles and you'll be a step ahead of the game. Oh, and if you have any unopened pool store products, see if you can return them or get store credit. :)

Let us know if you have any other questions.



I don't use chlorine tabs anymore and have a K2005, and bought separately a FAS-DPD test that should arrive tomorrow. I could re-check my numbers using my 2005 kit and post them if that would help
If your water is still cloudy, you are not yet done with slamming and your FC based on your CYA is too low. The algae is happily consuming whatever chlorine you are feeding and burping them off. Ditch the 73% bucket as that will only get your CYA upwards from now on and you are already more than mid point at the start of the season. Liquid chlorine is your friend and if an option, vacuum to waste part of the water so you can bring your CYA a bit low with refill and then add liquid chorine (12.5% preferable) based on pool math app recommendation for SLAM. Trust your test kit results and use the Pool store readings to keep tab of your metal level and nothing else. Good luck. You can still recover soon if you take control and not follow the PS advice.
I was under the impression that the 73% calcium hypo bucket wouldn't raise CYA.
I would vacuum to waste but I can't even see the bottom of the pool right now which would make anything not in the shallow end difficult to not get excessive overlap/missed spots.

Am I getting that Red notification about my target range because my CYA is too high? clicking on it doesn't expand on what is outside of the recommended range but if i lower the SLAM target FC to 9 the warning goes away
 

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Texas Splash

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Good job on the FAS-DPD. :goodjojb: Cal-Hypo only increases CH. The other products with Trichlor or Dichlor will increase CYA. But I wouldn't rush to adjust anything at the moment until you get your FAS-DPD in the mail. Take that back, since you have the K-2005, we do have faith in your testing, so if you wish to post the pH, TA, CH, and CYA, we'll get a start on those. If you have any difficulties on those tests let us know. We'll walk you through them. The link below may help.

 

akd

Silver Supporter
May 24, 2017
42
Westford
I was under the impression that the 73% calcium hypo bucket wouldn't raise CYA.
It doesn't have Stabilizer per say but they do've other additives and I've always noticed that CYA tends to increase eventually over time and I'm strictly on liquid chlorine and use Trichlor to sustain it as a buffer. Reason to not use that for now is due to the slow release nature of it. You need rage force of chlorine attack and is the reason for the term 'Shock'.
I would vacuum to waste but I can't even see the bottom of the pool right now which would make anything not in the shallow end difficult to not get excessive overlap/missed spots.
Just dump part of the water while you vacuum so the debris are pulled out. That will help you with cutting down the SLAM level for chlorine by doing so.
Am I getting that Red notification about my target range because my CYA is too high? clicking on it doesn't expand on what is outside of the recommended range but if i lower the SLAM target FC to 9 the warning goes away
Its just stating that you are below the shock level of 24ppm. Try to bring the CYA to 30-40 range and you would just need 2 gallons of liquid chlorine to shock and keep it there until you pass OCLT.
 

BodeyBode

Member
Sep 1, 2020
8
New York
Good job on the FAS-DPD. :goodjojb: Cal-Hypo only increases CH. The other products with Trichlor or Dichlor will increase CYA. But I wouldn't rush to adjust anything at the moment until you get your FAS-DPD in the mail. Take that back, since you have the K-2005, we do have faith in your testing, so if you wish to post the pH, TA, CH, and CYA, we'll get a start on those. If you have any difficulties on those tests let us know. We'll walk you through them. The link below may help.

Ok, I can cancel that order if you think that's wise, since according to the bleach price calculator the powder is $0.348 per oz vs $0.373 per oz for the liquid at my local store which is not a big difference and then I don't need to mess with dissolving the powder.

PH-7.4
TA-100
CH- 30 (don't own a heater)
CYA- 75 (higher than I expected, already know I'll need to drain some and fill)

I did the K2005 chlorine test as well but don't like it cause my TC was 2, FC was 2 and if I subtract then my CC is Zero?


It doesn't have Stabilizer per say but they do've other additives and I've always noticed that CYA tends to increase eventually over time and I'm strictly on liquid chlorine and use Trichlor to sustain it as a buffer. Reason to not use that for now is due to the slow release nature of it. You need rage force of chlorine attack and is the reason for the term 'Shock'.

Just dump part of the water while you vacuum so the debris are pulled out. That will help you with cutting down the SLAM level for chlorine by doing so.

Its just stating that you are below the shock level of 24ppm. Try to bring the CYA to 30-40 range and you would just need 2 gallons of liquid chlorine to shock and keep it there until you pass OCLT.

I see, I'm leaning towards cancelling that order then. Trichlor is the tabs?

After using test kit looks like my CYA is higher than I expected so I don't mind dumping a bit anyway so I'll vacuum to waste and refill tomorrow as well.
 

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Texas Splash

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Yes, lowering the CYA a bit would be ideal. Even if you only get it down to 50-60 that's more manageable. As soon as you do that and validate the new CYA, go to the FC/CYA Chart to see what FC level you should be at for your pool type. That's what we use to prevent algae if it's not too late. We'll work on that more when the FAS-DPD arrive. Liquid chlorine or regular bleach is your pool's friend (no CYA). If you ever do get bleach, do NOT get Clorox and avoid anything that says scented or splashless.
 

BodeyBode

Member
Sep 1, 2020
8
New York
Yes, lowering the CYA a bit would be ideal. Even if you only get it down to 50-60 that's more manageable. As soon as you do that and validate the new CYA, go to the FC/CYA Chart to see what FC level you should be at for your pool type. That's what we use to prevent algae if it's not too late. We'll work on that more when the FAS-DPD arrive. Liquid chlorine or regular bleach is your pool's friend (no CYA). If you ever do get bleach, do NOT get Clorox and avoid anything that says scented or splashless.
I’m currently draining and refilling my pool a few inches at a time to lower CYA and copper (0.4 ppm) after I foolishly added copper based algicide that the pool store sold me. I’m especially worried about staining my vinyl liner once I start the SLAM.

I know I’m gonna have to rebalance th get on PH and TA. To confirm, I should do this before the SLAM right?
 

mknauss

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May 3, 2014
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I know I’m gonna have to rebalance th get on PH and TA. To confirm, I should do this before the SLAM right?
Prior to SLAM, lower pH to 7.2. No need to address TA.
Do that after the SLAM, if necessary.
 

BodeyBode

Member
Sep 1, 2020
8
New York
Don't be too hard on yourself. Most of us here were dooped by the pool store clerk at one time or another. You're in control now though. :goodjob:
Thanks, This is the first year opening the pool myself since last year I didn’t open it and year before the seller of the house did the opening and I totally forgot all the lessons I learned that first year.

do you think we risk staining if I slam now?
Free copper was at 0.4 as of this afternoon.
Prior to SLAM, lower pH to 7.2. No need to address TA.
Do that after the SLAM, if necessary.
it’s been raining for the past 3 days and I’ve also been dumping and filling trying to bring CYA and copper down so my numbers are all out of whack now. I went to pool store to run test to check copper and according to them my PH and TA are low anyway so I can always add some borax prior to SLAM once my CYA is under 60 (ideally lower)

I know I need to double check the numbers with my own test kit but I’ll post the results they gave me.
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
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May 3, 2014
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Laughlin, NV
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Test your own water before making any chemistry adjustments.

It is not chemically possible to have a pH of 6.6 and TA of 99. Those tests are bunk.
 

BodeyBode

Member
Sep 1, 2020
8
New York
Test your own water before making any chemistry adjustments.

It is not chemically possible to have a pH of 6.6 and TA of 99. Those tests are bunk.
I believe that for sure, was mostly interested in the copper levels

I did my home test and got
PH - 7.4
TA - 90
CYA - 60
CH - 30
FC - 0
 
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