I need help ! Green pool

talboxer

Member
Feb 15, 2008
6
We just bought a home that had sat empty for almost 2 years , We just took the cover off the inground pool and it is green . we have never owned a pool before so i need help as where to begin. we use a leaf rake to get out the leaves and have taken a water sample to the pool store here is what we are showing

FC 0.5
TC 0.5
cc 0.0
ph 7.6
hardness 230
alkalinity 50
cyanuric acid 0
copper 0
iron 0
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
Welcome to TFP!

Those numbers look fairly good for a pool that has been ignored for a long time!

You need to shock the pool to kill off the algae. Before you start on that there are a couple of things you should get setup.

1) Make sure the pump and filter and working correctly. Does the pump turn on and prime correctly. Does the plumbing leak?

2) Stock up on chlorine. I suggest using bleach or liquid chlorine, which ever is easier to get and/or cheaper.

3) Get a good test kit! There is no better investment in your pool you can make. I suggest the TF Test Kit, see the link in my signature. The Taylor K-2006 is also good.

4) Get some CYA, also called stabilizer. (You could use dichlor for both chlorine and CYA to start if you are good at math and want to optimize things, but I find it simpler to handle them separately.)

5) There are a couple of other chemicals that are handy to have on hand. I suggest getting some baking soda, borax, and muriatic acid to have for adjusting PH and TA.

6) Estimate the number of gallons of water in the pool. You can use the pool size calculator near the bottom of the page of my Pool Calculator, see the link at the bottom of my signature.

7) Start reading up on pool care. The Stickies section of this site, see the link in the sub-heading of each page, is a great place to start, particularly the articles on BBB.

When you shock the pool you want to do it hard and fast, bringing the FC up to shock level as frequently as possible for a couple of days. It is much simpler to do that when you have everything on hand and ready. In the mean time keep sweeping up any solid debris you can manage to fish out of the pool.

Keep up posted on how things go and feel free to ask questions!
 

ivyleager

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 6, 2007
496
Raleigh-Durham,NC
It would be good to include what type of IG pool you have: gunite/plaster, cement, vinyl AND what other accessory equipment you have, such as a heater.

First things first, though. Make sure your filter, pump, plumbing are all in working order. No need to dump chemicals in the pool if you can't circulate them.

Good luck.

CaryB
 

Butterfly

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May 30, 2007
10,045
South Carolina
Welcome to TFP! What part of the country did you find your new pool? What is your water temp? You just can't give too much information! Our pool was green and nasty when we bought our house, too....but it got cleared in a hurry with BBB. No worries. You got great information already! If you happen to take pix of the clean-up progress, we sure would like to see them!

Congrats on your new pool! :-D

Joyce
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
32,864
Sebring, Florida
Talboxer,

Jasonlion is so thorough it's hard to add to his posts other than to lend support. Cary and Joyce are rock solid in the advice they have posted. I'm simply glomming on to three already excellent posts!! :lol: :lol: Welcome

Tell us the part of the country in which you live......that'll be really helpful.
 

talboxer

Member
Feb 15, 2008
6
Hi,
I feel soooo lost i have been doing a lot of reading and i am more confused than when i started (lol)
My husband said the pool store said we needed to shock the pool he suggested 14 pds of granular chlorine 65% does this sound correct?

20 BY 40 INGROUND VINYL 36,000 GAL
Hayward sand filter (All working well )
Location GA

AND I DO HAVE PHOTOS IF I CAN FIGURE OUT HOW TO POST THEM
 

Butterfly

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May 30, 2007
10,045
South Carolina
Georgia! Again, Welcome. Got pollen?

Yea, it seems like a lot of info to absorb in the beginning, but very soon you will feel like a pro with your pool! :wink:

Most folks here use liquid chlorine to sanatize their pools. I personally buy the 96oz jug of bleach ( 6%) from Aldi's for .99 each. It works just great and it is cheap. But, you might as well plan on using quite a few jugs to clear a pool that large. You can use JasonLion's pool calculator and find the amounts of bleach (6% plain-no scent)needed to shock. It is listed inside his post.

More help will be on the way!

Nice pic! Nice pool. Nice dog! Bad water :evil: , but, not for long!

Joyce
 

JasonLion

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"14 pds of granular chlorine 65%", which is presumably cal-hypo, would be way too much. That would bring FC levels up to around 30. Without any CYA that would be enough to cause damage (and kill the algae). Cal-hypo also adds calcium, which wouldn't hurt right now but can cause problems if you keep using cal-hypo for any period of time.

The goal when shocking is to bring the chlorine level up to a high enough level to kill the algae, but keep it low enough not to damage the pool. Just what level you want to aim for depends on your CYA level. With CYA around zero you don't want FC going over 10, and normally 5 is more than enough. Even with a CYA of 30 you don't want FC going much over 15 (or maybe 20). My pool calculator can suggest appropriate chlorine levels based on your CYA level.

Take it slow and steady. It really isn't that difficult, just a lot to take in all at once.

The one challenge here is that you need to get some CYA happening and shock the pool at the same time. Without any CYA you will lose all of your chlorine to sunlight each day, which is as good as inviting the algae to come back. Properly shocking is going to mean testing the water your self and learning to rely on your own skills and not be racing back to the pool store all the time. That is why I suggest taking a little time to make sure you have everything you need and understand what you are doing before you start.

There are several things to take in right now, but master them and you will know almost everything you need to know.
 

crabboy

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 24, 2007
628
Suwanee, GA
Since I'm still a newbie also, I need help understanding how the neglected pool manged to hold .5 FC with 0 CYA and it is green with 0 CC? it would make sense if the FC was 0. Is this an error with the test?
 

ivyleager

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 6, 2007
496
Raleigh-Durham,NC
I'm going to be a bit more specific:

1) maintain filtration and circulation 24/7 for now. I'm a circulation freak and live by this rule. I've only had one algae problem in 3.5 years.

2)If you are going to use bleach as your chlorine/sanitizer source, go out and buy about 15 gallons of bleach:
Add 6 gallons to bring FC up to 10, initially. Pour each gallon very slowly through skimmer closest to pump/filter.

3)check FC level every 6 hours or so (if you can) and add bleach to bring back up to 10 until the number holds overnight. Assuming all the leaves and other organic material is out of the pool, this process should progress fairly quickly...within a few days.

4) If you can't check FC levels due to lack of test kit, then you're adding bleach blind really. It can be done, but you may be adding too little or too much. If you will be adding bleach blind, I'd almost error on the side of too little because you have no CYA. So, with that said, adding another gallon or two every night while the pool is turning lighter shades of pale...er, green, then I don't think you'd be overdosing and doing damage to your pool. The sunlight will be burning off the chlorine too during the day.

5) Once cleared of algae, then you can start adding CYA and adjusting other values. (Question to the guys....can she be adding CYA via the sock method during the cleanup process? If so, we'll explain that later.)

6) With a pool of your size, it is imperative to get a test kit to maintain proper chemical level. Why? Once they get out of whack, it'll take gallons and gallons (think money and more money) to rectify. Prevention does go a long, long way with pool care. If your pool store does carry the Taylor K-2006, then grab that. It'll take at least 3 days to get the TF kit that's recommended here. It's a sweet kit, tho. So you may want to treat your pool blind, while the TF kit is in transit.

Best of luck.

CaryB
 

AnnaK

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Jul 15, 2007
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Eastern Pennsylvania
Jason is doing such a terrific job handling this issue there's very little I could contribute. I don want to say that I would pour in liquid bleach rather than the granular. Our PoolBuilder used granular and I find it too clunky. I like the convenience of pouring bleach (or liquid chlorine from the pool store) directly into the pool.

We had a green pool last year after an extended absence during which we had turned the pump off. I began the cleanup process by turning on the pump (to filter) and poured in 5 128 oz bottles of Clorox. The pump ran 24/7. Each day I added 2 more bottles on bleach and on day 3 I began to get a hint of 'I can see the bottom'. I brushed the bottom even though it wasn't yet entirely visible. My purpose was to stir up as much bottom crud as I could. It took six days for the colour to turn blue and another week for it to sparkle.

I didn't really do any tests other than for Cl until it was clean, i.e. no green tinge. Then I backwashed the filter and started working on balancing the chemistry. My Fc was very high by then and I quit adding bleach to let it slowly come down to 5 ppm.

I feel I have better control over the Cl level when I use liquid chlorine rather than granular.

Best of luck to you! Don't fret too much, cleaning a green pool is easily do-able.
 

Hotrod30

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Dec 22, 2007
504
Central New York
On opening, my pool is always a bright to dark green. Some years I also have to put up with string alga. It takes about a week before I can see the bottom of the deep end.
 

Butterfly

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May 30, 2007
10,045
South Carolina
ivyleager said:
I'm going to be a bit more specific:

5) Once cleared of algae, then you can start adding CYA and adjusting other values. (Question to the guys....can she be adding CYA via the sock method during the cleanup process? If so, we'll explain that later.)

Well, any CYA added now would be backwashed out when vaccuuming out the dead gunk, wouldn't it? Not adding CYA now will also mean that it will take less chlorine to reach the shock point, which I think is a good thing. I would wait.
My humble newbie opinion. :)

Joyce
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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San Rafael, CA USA
I would say that it depends on the amount of sunlight. If there aren't UV rays of sunlight depleting chlorine, then shocking with chlorine to kill the algae with little or no CYA should go a bit faster, but you really have to stay on top of it because the relatively small amount of Free Chlorine (FC) needed to kill the algae quickly will also get consumed very quickly. That is, you would have to very frequently add chlorine to "maintain" even a 3-5 ppm FC with no CYA, for example. And you really don't want to shock much above 5 ppm FC with no CYA in the water for very long because that is pretty corrosive.

The fastest way to get CYA in the water and also add chlorine at the same time for shocking would be to use Dichlor. For every 10 ppm FC it adds 9 ppm CYA. This is a more expensive way of adding CYA (see this link, though when accounting for the chlorine you get from Dichlor it's somewhat comparable to using CYA + bleach).

So, to allow for higher FC levels as a "buffer" to not run out of chlorine between additions (since that would allow the chlorine to grow back quickly) and to prevent even a small amount of sunlight from breaking down chlorine, adding around 10 ppm FC of Dichlor (for 9 ppm CYA) would be reasonable -- even 20 ppm would be fine since this would use a shock FC of 8 ppm.

Richard
 

JasonLion

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I would do 10 ppm of CYA now and more later. Losses from backwashing/vacuuming to waste won't be that significant. Later, when the algae is gone, the CYA level can be brought up to an ideal level.

My reasoning is somewhat technical and hinges on the fact that the pool has been ignored for a long time so the CYA level might actually be zero, which is quite rare in an outdoor pool. There are two issues. First, we don't really know the CYA level for sure. The CYA test can show zero even when the level is as high as perhaps 20. The effects of a CYA level of zero are very very different from CYA of 10+, while CYA of 10 is fairly close to CYA of 30. By adding 10 ppm of CYA now we can get a much better idea of what an appropriate FC shock level should be.

The second issue is sunlight. With CYA at zero you can lose all of your FC in just a few hours of sunlight. If that is happening at the same time you are fighting algae and you aren't adding chlorine every hour or two it is very easy for the FC level to go to zero and the algae to start getting ahead of you. By having just a little CYA we can cut the sunlight losses dramatically without pushing the shock level up too much.

The only issue with adding CYA is that it shouldn't be poured directly into the skimmer. That will put it into the filter and it is likely that the algae will force the filter to be backwashed/cleaned quite soon and any undssolved CYA will be lost. Putting the CYA into a sock either hung in front of a return or sitting in a skimmer will be fine. Using dichlor at first to both shock and bring up the CYA level would also work well, but probably isn't worth it unless there is already some dichlor sitting around that needs to be used up.
 

talboxer

Member
Feb 15, 2008
6
We tried the walmart brand reg bleach and we have come from green to a cloudy blue , I still cannot see the bottom of the pool . where do i go from here? here is a photo of how it looks today.
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JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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Silver Spring, MD
You want to maintain the FC at shock level (depends on your CYA level) for a couple of days to be sure you got all the algae. It can take the filter up to a week to get the water clear. While that is happening you should keep an eye on the filter pressure and backwash/clean the filter as necessary.