Helping my neighbor with algae

FloridaPoolGal

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Jan 8, 2016
99
0
Altamonte Springs, FL
#1
I just completed my first SLAM so now I'm the local expert!

My next door neighbor was complaining of algae but luckily had not yet been to the pool store. I took my TF-100 over to see what was going on. I definitely saw algae and these are the numbers for their 20,000, concrete, in-ground pool with 1.5 hp motor and Hayward DE filter:

FC: 0 Added enough chlorine to get 12ppm overnight and then revised to 16 ppm this morning
CC: <.5
pH: RED!!! Added acid to 7.2
TA: 100
CH: 150 (They refill the pool using softened water)
CYA: 40

We started about 5:00 pm yesterday and have made tremendous progress. Yes, they do think their neighbor is a little crazy and I completely overwhelmed them describing the kit and the TFP philosophy. They are pleased with the results that are coming quickly!

Their maintenance regimen is to drop 3 pucks into the inline dispenser every 3 days and to take a water sample to the pool shop every couple of weeks. That's it! No testing of chlorine or pH. No recollection of ever adding muratic acid or anything other than shock and algaecide (powder) when required which is a couple of times a year. This has gone on for years with not too many issues until now. Apparently, the algae is returning about every 3 weeks.

Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of the starting condition which was moderately bad with algae on the pool floor and around the water line. There was algae on the walls because I'm now seeing it come off when brushing.

It was quite overcast yesterday and I read the CYA to be about 30. I did the CYA reading again this morning and read it at 40.

Time to go back over and check the chlorine level and do some brushing.
 

duraleigh

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#3
Wow! You have a great grip on the TFP principles and understand how to make them work.

Kudos to you all around for understanding so quickly and sharing the knowledge you have gained with others.
 

kimkats

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Jul 11, 2012
35,482
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Tallahassee, FL
#4
So sweet of you to help them out and showing the way. NOW to get them to get their own kit and sign up so they can do it on their own with your guidance!

:hug:

Kim:cat:
 

FloridaPoolGal

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 8, 2016
99
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Altamonte Springs, FL
#5
I am teaching as I go although last night their eyes were rolling back into their heads! I'm giving a running commentary while I do (and re-do) the tests and I think they are starting to believe the TPF way is not as hard as they first thought. Well, it's going to be a bit more work because they have been doing almost nothing to maintain their pool! The pool is starting to sparkle and that is what is really getting them interested in the TFP way. Shimmering water is magical!

When I went back over at 12:30 (noon-thirty), I tested the chlorine level because I had added some before I left at 11:00. FC measured 18 ppm which meant I overshot by 2 ppm and I'll explain why below. We backwashed and re-DE'd the filter (hadn't done that for 4-5? months), and brushed all around twice. Still some faint algae stains on the pool floor but the water still gets a little cloudy when I brush so I know I'm still kicking stuff up. Also, FC was back to 16 ppm by 2:00 pm. I will check again at 4:00 pm.

My pool is 20,000 gallons and it looks much bigger than the neighbors now that I am getting so familiar with theirs. They told me their pool was 20,000 gallons (maybe even 25,000, they said) but I couldn't see how that was possible. I should have measured last night before doing anything but I accepted what they said and went from there. The pH dropped more (and that should have been my first clue) than expected when I added acid and today I overshot the chlorine level so I decided it was time to measure. Come to find out, the pool is 13,000 gallons max. Lesson learned - always measure the pool and calculate the volume before adding anything!

Last night, I dropped in enough chlorine for a 20,000 gallon pool to start the SLAM and didn't overshoot (at least never measured that I had overshot) until today because consumption has slowed down. Last night the chlorine was apparently being consumed like crazy because the chlorine level measured okay (close to expected value) by the time I got around to testing.

I think they will be buying their own kit but they will probably ask me to come over to help for awhile. The 'but we've never had to do anything to the pool and it's been fine!" comments are starting to slow down as they see how clear and sparkling their pool can really look WITHOUT a trip to the pool store! The have a 1.5 hp pump and a Hayward 24xx DE filter so maybe lots of water changes has kept them mostly out of trouble. It would be interesting to really know how many times a year they had to fight algae blooms. I'm guessing they've forgotten a few pool store trips.

Neighbor mom did find a hardened bag of calcium in the garage. Oops! Guess that's why the calcium is so low.

Question: Should I have them add calcium now or wait until the SLAM is finished? It's probably been low for over a year (years?) so a few more days won't hurt anything. I'm assuming the sock method is the best way to go.

I'm so glad I had to go through a SLAM on my pool last week. I would not have felt comfortable doing my first one on someone else's pool. I guess everyone is getting hit with algae as the water temps climb to 80 degrees and above.

Question: When can they swim in the pool? They are at a 16 SLAM level. It might be hard on a bathing suit but it's safe to swim at that level, isn't it? The pool is starting to look very inviting!:swim:
 

YippeeSkippy

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Jan 17, 2012
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Evans, Georgia
#6
I think you could do either with the calcium. It definitely should be done! Not in a sock, dissolved in a bucket and not added when anything else is added. It tends to heat up a bit as it dissolves in the bucket. If you decide to scatter it over the pool instead you should brush good. Better yet have them brush good :whip:

Its safe to swim up to SLAM level.

They're going to tell you their pool never, EVER looked so good by the time you finish. I know this!! They've probably been so accustomed to mediocre water.

Good job you!!
 

kimkats

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Jul 11, 2012
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Tallahassee, FL
#9
What an awesome update and so cute about about her liking what you have done and are doing! Does she live with them? I hope you are teaching her how to help care for the pool!

Kim:cat:
 

FloridaPoolGal

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 8, 2016
99
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Altamonte Springs, FL
#10
Our two households are nearly identical. My household is me, my hubby and my mother. Neighbor's household is adult daughter, her mother, and her ex-boyfriend (he's a good cook!). They helped us unload our U-Haul a year ago on a Sunday evening when it was 90 degrees and probably 90% humidity. We drove up, they walked over and the truck was empty and the furniture arranged (her mom worked in a design shop at one time) in no time. Unloading the truck was the first time we met them!

Yes, she (adult daughter) asked me to help her learn the tests. She said she is a visual learner so the laminated instruction card (all text) won't work for her. I'll take pictures of the process so she can use those as a reference.
 

FloridaPoolGal

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 8, 2016
99
0
Altamonte Springs, FL
#13
I think you could do either with the calcium. It definitely should be done! Not in a sock, dissolved in a bucket and not added when anything else is added. It tends to heat up a bit as it dissolves in the bucket. If you decide to scatter it over the pool instead you should brush good. Better yet have them brush good :whip:

Its safe to swim up to SLAM level.

They're going to tell you their pool never, EVER looked so good by the time you finish. I know this!! They've probably been so accustomed to mediocre water.

Good job you!!
I did not carefully read your reply about not bothering with a sock and just dissolving the calcium in a bucket. I put a chunk in a sock, set the sock in the water and the calcium was gone instantly! It was in hard chunks in the bag so I was really surprised when it dissolved so quickly. We had some crumbs left in the bottom of the bag and dissolved those in a bucket and poured the water into the pool. I will measure the CH again today to see what effect it had. The amount left in the bag should have taken the level to about 250.
 

FloridaPoolGal

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Jan 8, 2016
99
0
Altamonte Springs, FL
#14
I'm calling the SLAM complete. The water looks great and we've met the other criteria. The overnight FC reading was complicated a bit by a big rainstorm and a late afternoon (instead of evening reading) but I'm pretty sure the level held. FC was at 16 ppm this morning and I'll re-check it soon.

Neighbor mom asks me this morning, "So when should I take water to the pool store?" Aaaargh! She is in her 70's and still a little overwhelmed by the whole process. To make the SLAM go quickly (less than 48 hours), I babysat it. Lots of testing and LOTS of brushing. I think neighbor mom is visualizing that level of activity on an ongoing basis. Neighbor daughter is on-board with learning how to take care of the pool chemistry. They'll both see how easy and quick it is when they are in daily maintenance mode versus SLAM mode. Neighbor daughter has her own detailing business so my car is going to be as sparkling as their pool!

And, of course, there are pictures!

 

FloridaPoolGal

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 8, 2016
99
0
Altamonte Springs, FL
#18
I am sorry to report neighbor mom is going back to the pool store and using Pool Season 3" pucks. 3 pucks into the dispenser every 3 days. I was over visiting and took my kit to check the chlorine level. I measured 6 ppm which was good. Neighbor mom said she had been to the pool store that morning and he told her it was 3 ppm. We'll see how it goes. I'm guessing there will be another algae outbreak within the next 60 days as all our pools here in FL heat up. The bloom might happen even sooner because I think neighbor mom is going to be out of town for a week and since there's no testing/chlorine monitoring discipline at the house, the chlorine level will probably drop below the required level.

Also, I calculated her pool volume at approximately 13,000 gallons. Neighbor mom thought it was 20,000 gallons. Pool store (who she has done business with for 15 years) tells her it is 18,000 which is impossible given the dimensions. How much does each puck contribute to the CL level? Is it 1 ppm per 10,000 gallons?
 

tim5055

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May 11, 2014
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Franklin, NC
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#19
You
I am sorry to report neighbor mom is going back to the pool store and using Pool Season 3" pucks. 3 pucks into the dispenser every 3 days. I was over visiting and took my kit to check the chlorine level. I measured 6 ppm which was good. Neighbor mom said she had been to the pool store that morning and he told her it was 3 ppm. We'll see how it goes. I'm guessing there will be another algae outbreak within the next 60 days as all our pools here in FL heat up. The bloom might happen even sooner because I think neighbor mom is going to be out of town for a week and since there's no testing/chlorine monitoring discipline at the house, the chlorine level will probably drop below the required level.

Also, I calculated her pool volume at approximately 13,000 gallons. Neighbor mom thought it was 20,000 gallons. Pool store (who she has done business with for 15 years) tells her it is 18,000 which is impossible given the dimensions. How much does each puck contribute to the CL level? Is it 1 ppm per 10,000 gallons?
Walk away and don't look back

Each puck, fully dissolved will have added 4.2ppm FC and 2.6ppm CYA. So her CYA is going up about 6ppm each week. It doesn't take lone for the FC not to be able to keep up.

I have been in your position. Let them go. They have to want to change.