help!

SusieS

New member
Sep 23, 2010
4
Our pool problems are getting increasingly worse. About 4 weeks ago our water was cloudy and we took for testing at the pool store. We treated with 3 gallons of stabilizer, super phospate (?) and 5lbs. shock. It didn't improve and then became green. We took for a test again and then treated with a quart of algaecide and 8 pounds of shock. A week later we took another sample and treated with 1/2 gallon agaecide and 12 pounds of shock. The water is still green. The lastest water sample says that it is balanced, but the water is still green. We have been faithfully brushing and filtering. At the same time, we have replaced the sand in the filter and replaced the pressure gauge. The pressure never rises above 12. We were told to just run the filter 24/7 since the water ph, alkalinity, etc is where it should be. This morning we discovered that our pump overheated and died. So, now we have a green pool and a broken pump. Any ideas? We are tempted to just cover the pool and deal with it next year, but we don't want to the algae to stain the liner (just put in this year!). HELP!!

We live in the metro Atlanta area.
Our pool is an inground vinyl. It's dimensions are 19'x37' and 27,000 gallons
Our pump is 1 1/2 horsepower
 

thecanuck22

In The Industry
Jun 11, 2010
58
Vernon BC
wow, a great help that store has been to you.....frickin amazing.

anyways. Shock can be a few things, shocking is a process not a product.

first things first, get your pump fixed.

next is this 'shock' you speak of a chlorine type?

some actual test results would be nice....

in the mean time while you wait for your pump to be replaced or repaired you could get some bottles of bleach and pour it around the edges and start brushing and pouring and brushing and pouring and brushing.....

read up in the pool school, stick around ask questions, someday you will have a great story.....bad pool store bad pool store..
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,069
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
If you've been browsing at all, you already know what I'm going to say..

Can you post a set of test results?

My gut, and probabilities, tell me that your pool is overstabilized, and that despite the huge amounts of "shock" (It's a process, not a single-use product, by the way) you didn't get ahead of the algae growth nor keep it up long enough to kill it all.

First stop, tftestkits.net. Order yourself a TF100XL. I'd recommend a speedstir, too. Once you use it, you'll see why. These two items are probably less than you've blown at the pool store so far, and should carry you through the winter and well into next season before you need to buy refills. Without an accurate test kit, you're just guessing. Pool store tests are notoriously inaccurate. You'd get as good a result by tasting the water. Seriously, get the test kit. The right kit is hard to find in stores. You want FAS-DPD test. Plain DPD is not the same.

Second stop, Pool School. There's a link button on the upper right of every page. Read it while you wait for the test kit.

The filter: I have no idea what you have, what mechanical abilities you have, nothing. But calling a serviceman or taking it to the repair shop is number three. Do it ASAP. You'll need circulation while testing and treating your water with your new kit and your new knowledge.

Don't put anything else into the pool until you have test results. If you don't add enough chlorine and keep it up, you'll never stay ahead of the algae, and everything you added was wasted. Plus you have no circulation. Don't buy anything from the pool store unless it's a pump or a FAS-DPD test kit.
 

poolgrll

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 23, 2010
17
Chesterfield,VA
Listen to these experts, they know of what they speak. My pool would be cloudy all summer and never felt "quite right." I discovered this site and have never looked back. The pool store numbers were so off from my own test kit numbers it is unbelievable. I still have high stabilizer and calcium levels but my pool has been sparkly clean all summer and no problems since I took control of my own testing. I bet your alkalinity and Ph are way off too. The pool store was telling me to keep my alkalinity at around 120- 150 which is too high. Since I have lowered my alkalinity to around 70-80 I have no more problems with the ph drifting higher and only have to add acid around every 3 weeks or so. Follow their advice, get the pump fixed and then get a test kit and take control of your own pool. I haven't been back to the pool store since and don't plan on ever going unless I need a part. You won't be sorry and your pool will thank you for it.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,638
SouthWest Alabama
I'll just chime in to say, you've gotten some good advice. You need to go ahead and get your pump fixed first and the advice The Canuck gave you about pouring a large bottle of bleach in it each day and brushing is good advice. It's imperative that you get a good test kit but in the mean time get a set of test results from the pool store and post those for us.

Here's what we need.
pH
FC
CC
TA
CH
CYA

It's very important to get the CYA (stabilizer) number.
 

SusieS

New member
Sep 23, 2010
4
Thanks everyone! I am so glad I found this site and we haven't even cleared up the pool yet! This just makes so much more sense than what we were trying to do before. We are ordering the test kit you recommended and a new pump today. We are also ordering a new top/cover to the filter. It just doesn't seem to be working properly.Shouldn't the pressure read higher than 12 sometimes? Is there a way, other than the pressure guage, to make sure there is enough pressure inside the tank to force the water through the sand? The water is clear in the top of the pump (or at least it was before it quit working) and it seems to us that it should be cloudy or green with all the green water. Anyway, those things will be on the way shortly.

We have a test kit here but it is quite old old and only shows a range of colors. We can use that too if helpful. Here are the most recent water test results from the pool store. It is from 9/17. We have added nothing since this reading. We had the filter running 24/7 until yesterday when the pump died.

FAC 4.0
TAC 4.0
PH 7.4
TOTAL ALKALINITY 120
CALCIUM HARDNESS 200

Thanks so much!
CYA 25
 

sbluhm

LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2008
84
Virginia Beach, VA
I think you can go ahead and stock on up bleach while you're waiting for the new pump.

Please read this article
http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-school/defeating_algae

and you'll be ready to turn the water back to blue.

You are going to be so much happier collecting your own test results, making your own decisions of what to add to the pool, and I think you are going to come out of this experience way ahead of the game. That's exactly how most of us got here too!

Sorry I can't answer about the sand filter but I'm sure one will come soon.

Good luck!
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
11,725
Houston, Texas
The CYA reading is wrong! Can you tell us what kind of "shock" you were using? What is the active ingredient or the name of the product? As for your filter, if you are concerned about the pressure readings being inaccurate, then you can buy a replacement gauge usually less than $20. Is the top to the filter itself damaged? You do not need to replace the top if the only problem is the pressure gauge! If there is a leak between the top and bottom of the filter halves then you may just need a new o ring. If you think the sand is not filtering then you may need to deep clean the sand. Here are the instructions.

waterbear said:
Open up the filter so the sand bed is exposed. Stick a garden hose into the sand and turn on the water. The sand should loosen up and all the dirt and gunk should float and overflow out of the filter. You might need to stir up the sand a bit. Keep this up until the water overflowing out of the filter is clean. If any sand is clumped together CAREFULLY break it up with something like a broom handle but BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO DAMAGE THE LATERALS. You will be surprised at how much stuff this gets out of your filter than backwashing doesn't and I feel this 'deep cleaning' should be done yearly. This should take care of the channeling but if the sand has a lot of calcium deposits you might want to follow this up with an acidic sand filter cleaner from the pool store.
As far as the water not looking green in the pump strainer, that is not unusual even with a very green nasty pool. If you take a clear container and dip out a sample of the pool water it will not look green either. It may not even look cloudy! It has something to do with the volume of water and light refraction that is beyond my capabilities to explain!
 

SusieS

New member
Sep 23, 2010
4
Thanks for all the replies. The type of shock we are using is Power Powder Plus.

As for the filter, it is the original, at least 7 years old. We recently replaced the sand, o ring and pressure gauge. Any other ideas of how to test for pressure in the tank - the gauge never reads above 12.

Thanks!
I am getting hopeful that we solve this and be back in blue water again :)
 

thepoolpros.com

In The Industry
Sep 9, 2010
12
coconut creek, florida
Chlorination + Filtration = clear water.

My recomendation is never to add any of the expensive algacides. Save your money and use chlorine, stabilizer (enough to protect your chlorine from UV destruction), Bicarb and if necessary Calcium. This with proper circulation(meaning ALL of the water molecules gets filtered daily) will turn any green pool clear within 24-36 hours. If this doesnt not occur your Total Dissolved solids may be too high, slowing the process.

add chlorine at night so the excess that is not protected from the stabilizer is not lost, and has time to kill the algae.
 

SusieS

New member
Sep 23, 2010
4
What is TDS, not what does it stand for, but what is it? How do you test for it? All parts on their way and we will get an accurate test reading on here asap. Thanks!
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,638
SouthWest Alabama
TDS is Total Dissolved Solids. Any solid that gets dissolved in the water is counted toward the TDS. It includes hardness, alkalinity, cyanuric acid, chlorides, sulfates, etc.

Don't get worried about it. TDS isn't nearly the issue some people would like you to believe it is.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
11,725
Houston, Texas
SusieS said:
Thanks for all the replies. The type of shock we are using is Power Powder Plus.

As for the filter, it is the original, at least 7 years old. We recently replaced the sand, o ring and pressure gauge. Any other ideas of how to test for pressure in the tank - the gauge never reads above 12.

Thanks!
I am getting hopeful that we solve this and be back in blue water again :)
O.k., if Power powder plus is the only shock you have used then your CYA might not be sky high yet. We won't know for sure until you have dependable test results. Power powder is calcium hypochlorite and does not contain CYA. (By the way never mix cal-hypo and stabilized chlorine such as trichlor/dichlor products or use them with containers that once contained the other. They don't play nice together!) Cal-hypo will raise the calcium hardness of your pool so you need to keep an eye on that number. Don't let it get above 300 or you could develop cloudy water (this is a milky water that does not progress to green).

When you ran the pump could you feel water coming out of the return(s)? When backwashing the filter did you get dirty water coming out? Have you checked all the valves and made sure they were in the correct positions? Did you clean out the skimmer and pump strainer baskets? Have you had a lot of leaves or debris in the pool that have been vacuumed recently?
Is there a recirculate setting on your filter?

If you could post any pictures of your pool equipment (pipes, valves, filter, pump, ect...) that also may help us figure out what is going on.