Help with algae

h2o

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
68
0
Houston, TX
#1
I recently purchased a home with a pool and I must admit I am a little overwhelmed right now. I knew nothing about pools coming into this and it is slowly turning into a money pit. I have already had to replace filter elements, a pump seal, then all of the chemicals.

The water was very cloudywhen I bought it...turned out it was bad filter elelments letting DE pass. I finally got that problem resolved, but now I have a problem with algea growing on the walls. I shock and brush and within a few days it's back! I have never been able to get the water to really sparkle.

I took a sample to the pool store this morning and here are the readinsgs.

Temp - 90
Saturation idx - 0.4
TDS - 750
CYA - 63
TC - 0.5
FC - 0
pH - 7.7
TA - 106
Adjusted TA - 87
Total Hardness - 314

I was told to add 4 scoops of bicarb and wait 2 hours. Add 1 1/2 scoops aof acid, then wait another hour and add 3 lbs of shock. She said I needed to get TC and FC balanced out and then add an algeacide. She said that algeacide was the only thing that would get rid of mustard algea. After reading this forum, I am to believe that chlorine is all that is needed to get rid of it. Any help is appreciated.
 

branchop

LifeTime Supporter
May 27, 2008
79
0
North Carolina
#2
Re: Help with algea

You need to get your pool to shock value and keep it there. Use the pool calculator in the links on the home page to find out what your shock level should be. You must keep your pool at this level until it holds overnight (dropping less than 1 ppm).

All the while brush and vaccuum as much as you can. It took me over three weeks to turn my pool from swamp sludgy water to crystal blue. It was a lot of bleach - more than I ever imagined.

Keep at it and be diligent and it will turn.
 

Swimgirl

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2008
347
0
Marana, AZ
#3
Re: Help with algea

With CYA that high, you better make sure that shock doesn't have any stabilizers added! Granulated shock often does. Either bleach, (unscented and without any laundry additives) or liquid chlorine is better. (The only difference between plain bleach and the liquid chlorine they sell at the pool store is the strength.) The pool calculator you can get to from this forum (someone will be along soon who has the link) will tell you how much you need.

And yes, you can get rid of algae using chlorine alone. If you do decide to use an algecide, though, stay away from copper. Polyquat is the best.

I'm not sure if you want to get your PH down before shocking or not. I'm new myself, so I'm just getting the hang of this too.
 

h2o

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
68
0
Houston, TX
#4
Re: Help with algea

branchop said:
You need to get your pool to shock value and keep it there. Use the pool calculator in the links on the home page to find out what your shock level should be. You must keep your pool at this level until it holds overnight (dropping less than 1 ppm).

All the while brush and vaccuum as much as you can. It took me over three weeks to turn my pool from swamp sludgy water to crystal blue. It was a lot of bleach - more than I ever imagined.

Keep at it and be diligent and it will turn.
Forgive my ignorance, but how do I amintain shock level? Do I simply add more shock every day?
 

branchop

LifeTime Supporter
May 27, 2008
79
0
North Carolina
#5
Re: Help with algea

I'm sorry- shock is simply (in BBB terms) - bleach. Just a higher concentration than normal. My pool per the pool calculator should normally be about 4-7 ppm. However at the bottom of the calculator it will show you what the shock levels should be. (mine is around 16)

At the top of the calculator put what you want your FC to be (for shock I would put 16 - for normal I would put 6) and it will tell you how much bleach to add!
 

Butterfly

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 31, 2007
10,045
1
68
South Carolina
#6
Re: Help with algea

Hi h2o,

You can read about getting rid of the algae here: category/pool-school/defeating_algae

Some time reading in Pool School will help. :wink: Link is at the top of each page in the sub-heading.

A link to Jason's Pool Calculator is on the home page, left side, links section. Also a link in my sig. You can save a copy to your computer.

Welcome to the forum :lol:
 

frustratedpoolmom

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
0
44
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
#7
Re: Help with algea

h2o said:
I recently purchased a home with a pool and I must admit I am a little overwhelmed right now. I knew nothing about pools coming into this and it is slowly turning into a money pit. I have already had to replace filter elements, a pump seal, then all of the chemicals.

The water was very cloudywhen I bought it...turned out it was bad filter elelments letting DE pass. I finally got that problem resolved, but now I have a problem with algea growing on the walls. I shock and brush and within a few days it's back! I have never been able to get the water to really sparkle.

I took a sample to the pool store this morning and here are the readinsgs.

Temp - 90
Saturation idx - 0.4
TDS - 750
CYA - 63
TC - 0.5
FC - 0
pH - 7.7
TA - 106
Adjusted TA - 87
Total Hardness - 314

I was told to add 4 scoops of bicarb and wait 2 hours. Add 1 1/2 scoops aof acid, then wait another hour and add 3 lbs of shock. She said I needed to get TC and FC balanced out and then add an algeacide. She said that algeacide was the only thing that would get rid of mustard algea. After reading this forum, I am to believe that chlorine is all that is needed to get rid of it. Any help is appreciated.
She told you to add 'bicarb' and then 'acid'? What kind of "acid"?

Good ole' chlorine is all you need and you are in the right place to get help. Welcome to TFP!
 

h2o

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
68
0
Houston, TX
#8
Re: Help with algea

frustratedpoolmom said:
She told you to add 'bicarb' and then 'acid'? What kind of "acid"?

Good ole' chlorine is all you need and you are in the right place to get help. Welcome to TFP!
Yes ma'am. 4 scoops of sodium bicarbonate (12 lbs I think) then, 2 hrs later, 1 1/2 scoops of muratic acid.

I've been doing a lot of reading here today and it seems I've been "pool stored" already. :oops: I just spent $150 on pool chems last week. I do have another question...I shocked to pool with 3 lbs of cal-hypo at 6pm. Since I do not have a test kit (yes, I know I need one) how should I go about maintaining shock level? Should I just add a couple of more lbs. of cal-hypo in the morning? I will get the water tested again at lunch tomorrow.
 

loridud

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 16, 2008
19
0
Texas
#9
Re: Help with algea

Please read my entire post(s) under: "Just getting started.....New-home-1st-time-pool-owner-a-green-pool-help!!" (it is recent)

I just bought a home, had a pump break, had a beautiful pool turn into a swamp, have been fighting the algae war (4th day), and I am a 1st time pool owner as well. I joined this website and have learned SO MUCH in just a few days!! And my pool is now sparkling and beautiful again.

I think you could benefit from reading through my "algae war story!!"
:-D
 

frustratedpoolmom

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
0
44
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
#10
Re: Help with algea

I see you have a plaster pool. See, I'm not real knowledgable about CH and plaster surfaces, and using CAl-hypo increases your calcium.... you are at 314 now and I believe the range is 200-400...

Without a test kit, shocking and holding it there is a problem, as you are just guessing, or making frequent trips to the pool stealer risking your pocketbook with every trip....you have to PROMISE US YOU WON'T BUY ANYTHING....LOL

Order a good kit, tonight. You won't regret it. I got the TF-100 from Duraleigh, the links on the homepage. A good test kit gives you complete control of your pool water.
 

h2o

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
68
0
Houston, TX
#11
Re: Help with algea

loridud said:
Please read my entire post(s) under: "Just getting started.....New-home-1st-time-pool-owner-a-green-pool-help!!" (it is recent)

I just bought a home, had a pump break, had a beautiful pool turn into a swamp, have been fighting the algae war (4th day), and I am a 1st time pool owner as well. I joined this website and have learned SO MUCH in just a few days!! And my pool is now sparkling and beautiful again.

I think you could benefit from reading through my "algae war story!!"
:-D
I have read that thread already. ;)
 

h2o

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
68
0
Houston, TX
#12
Re: Help with algea

frustratedpoolmom said:
I see you have a plaster pool. See, I'm not real knowledgable about CH and plaster surfaces, and using CAl-hypo increases your calcium.... you are at 314 now and I believe the range is 200-400...

Without a test kit, shocking and holding it there is a problem, as you are just guessing, or making frequent trips to the pool stealer risking your pocketbook with every trip....you have to PROMISE US YOU WON'T BUY ANYTHING....LOL

Order a good kit, tonight. You won't regret it. I got the TF-100 from Duraleigh, the links on the homepage. A good test kit gives you complete control of your pool water.
I promise...I won't buy anything. Well, I do need more DE. :mrgreen:
 

h2o

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
68
0
Houston, TX
#13
Re: Help with algea

Newest numbers...

PH - 8.2
TA - 134
FC - 10
TC - 10
CH - 335 (total hardness)
CYA - 72

The pool store told me to add 48 oz. of muratic acid to bring the pH down. I plugged the numbers into the pool calc and added 2 more lbs of cal-hypo to bring it back to 20ppm.

I shocked yesterday evening, last night, and around 8am this morning. I took tje sample to the pool store at noon. This is difficult seeing as how I don't have a test kit (ordered a TF-100 this morning) and I have no way of knowing what my FC level is unless I make a trip up to the pool store. That and being at work all day only allows me to shock in the morning, at lunch and in the evening. My saturation index is also high. It is at 1.

Any suggestions?
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,446
0
SW Indiana
#14
Re: Help with algea

Leave your pH alone since test results can be wrong when chlorine levels are high. I hate to suggest more money, especially since you'll have your TF-100 later this week most likely, but Walmart sells a kit for about $15. You can use the dilution method to extend the range of the kit (at the expense of some accuracy) and keep an eye on your chlorine until you have the TF-100. Add 3 parts distilled water to 1 part pool water, and test the mixture. Multiply your reading by 4 to get a good indication of the actual chlorine level.
 

h2o

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
68
0
Houston, TX
#15
Thanks for all of the responses. I'm a little torn right now. Do I just eat the $150+ I just spent last week on cal-hypo and tabs or should I use it up before switching over to the BBB method? Obviously, once I get this algea situation under control I will need to do a partial drain and refill to bring the CYA down. Your thoughts?
Also, is it bad to have a saturation level of 1?
 

JasonLion

LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
TFP Expert
May 7, 2007
37,879
5
Silver Spring, MD
#16
Your CH and CYA levels are both already fairly high. If you keep using trichlor and/or cal-hypo for any length of time, one of them will get too high and probably start causing problems.
 

h2o

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
68
0
Houston, TX
#17
JasonLion said:
Your CH and CYA levels are both already fairly high. If you keep using trichlor and/or cal-hypo for any length of time, one of them will get too high and probably start causing problems.
But if I do a partial drain and refill, shouldn't both of those numbers come down?
 

Butterfly

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 31, 2007
10,045
1
68
South Carolina
#18
h2o said:
JasonLion said:
Your CH and CYA levels are both already fairly high. If you keep using trichlor and/or cal-hypo for any length of time, one of them will get too high and probably start causing problems.
But if I do a partial drain and refill, shouldn't both of those numbers come down?
Short answer, "Yes".
 

h2o

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
68
0
Houston, TX
#19
Okay, thanks for all the help. I think I am going to go that route for the short term. I just hate to piss away that much cash. I have read enough to convince me to try the BBB method though. :goodjob:
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
TFP Expert
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,265
3
Sebring, Florida
tftestkits.net
#20
h20,

You won't throw it away. Save the Cal Hypo for shocking and the pucks for when you go on vacation.

In small doses, both these products fit in with BBB very nicely.....you'll see.