I'm so confused

ITri72

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May 14, 2007
16
0
Huntsville, TX
#1
HELP!!!

We got back from vacation 2 weeks ago & I'm still struggling to get my pool back in shape. Before we left everything was fine. I went ahead and shocked the pool before we left & had my neighbor add bleach every other day. Apparantly that wasn't enough because we came home to a partially green pool. So I shocked, brushed, vacuumed, filtered, tested water & repeated as necessary until the chlorine held overnight & there was minimal CC.

Things seemed to be going fine. I am trying to remember the POPP, but things just don't make sense to me. Here's what keeps happening:

The pool gets to where it's mostly clear, but there's what I'm guessing is dead algae on the bottom. It brushes & vacs up easily & then the pool gets cloudy. I rinse off the cartridges after I vac & let it run 24/7 thinking it will suck up whatever got stirred up. After a day or two of cloudy water it's back again on the bottom - pretty much evenly across the entire pool - almost to where you wouldn't know anything is there until I run the vac or brush over it. Then I'm like - there's the nice blue bottom I've been missing, but AUGGH the water's getting cloudy again.

I have been suspicious of new algae growth, but the numbers say otherwise - no CC & chlorine holds overnight. The other mystery that makes no sense to me is my CYA. Up until this problem it hovered between 30-40. Last week when I tested it was at 50. I thought maybe it's because of cloudy water??? This morning's test showed around 60. The water is not cloudy right now (I'm in the everything's on the bottom phase) & I have only added bleach throughout this whole process.

What am I missing? Doing wrong? My next thought was to vacuum to waste & skip the filter all together.

Here's my numbers from this morning:

FC - 3.6 too low if CYA is really 60 :(
CC - .2
pH - 7.8
TA - 70
CYA - 60 during this period, had been 30-40
Temp - 80

We've been getting rain just about every day - been a very wet June.

I welcome all help, tips & advice.

THANKS,
Susie
 

duraleigh

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#2
Hi, Susie,

I think you're doing everything just about right.....just not enough of it. From your good description, I think you have algae growing in your pool. I would suggest shocking it again and I would do it tomorrow evening. Get you filter cleaned up and just after the Sun gets low, bring your Cl level up to about 20ppm. Test a couple of hours after you put it in and then test again the very next AM......... My bet is you will have lost a good portion of the Cl to what I suspect is algae.

If you've lost more than 1-2ppm, bring it right back up to 20ppm and do what it takes to KEEP IT THERE until your pool clears. Keep your pump running 24/7. Clean your filter as necessary and vacuum often. I think that's dead algae on your pool floor and you need to keep vacuuming, filtering, brushing, etc. (and keep your Cl at shock value) until it's gone. Vacuuming to waste is a thought but filtering it out will probably be a little more effecftive.

I know your test may not reflect the presence of algae but, from your description, I believe it's there. Bringing the Cl to shock value, testing tomorrow night and then the next AM will quickly confirm it one way or the other.
 

ITri72

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May 14, 2007
16
0
Huntsville, TX
#3
Thanks for the advice Dave. Think I'll go out there tonight & add some bleach - I'm a night owl!!

ALSO - I've been reading over at PF & found a thread in Dealing with Algae that describes what I've been dealing with. I can't register over there so I have no way to communicate with those folks. The thread's called "yellow/brown dusty spots that reappear". If I have what's been described over there then I KNOW I'm not dealing with removing dead algae, but a constantly recurring form of whatever it is. :shock: AUGGHH

The other thing I'm really curious about is my CYA? Why would it go up to 60? Is it that the cloudiness of the pool is effecting the reading??? Anyone know about this???

~Susie
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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#4
You might have pollen and not algae. Before you shock, see if, with the pump off, you can carefully scoop some up. Does it feel slimy? Put some in pool water in a bucket and half cover it and leave it out in the sun (don't add any chlorine to it -- let the chlorine go away on its own). See if whatever it is grows. If it does, then it's algae; if not, then it's more likely to be pollen. If you have a microscope (even a cheap one for kids), then it's really obvious -- pollen is spherical and has a rough or spiked surface while algae is more oblong looking like cells that are semi-transparent especially near the edges.

If you have regular green algae, then the shock level is an FC level that is about 40% of the CYA level. If you have yellow/mustard algae, however, then the shock level is 60% of the CYA level (lowering the pH to 7.2 before adding chlorine to shock level). If you have algae, you need to filter it out -- a skimmer sock helps, as does a pool sweep.

Richard
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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#5
Cloudy water will cause CYA to read higher than it really is. You can partially compensate for this by pouring the water through a coffee filter before doing the test. This still won't be perfect, but it will be closer than without. If you want an accurate number you will need to wait till the water is clear.
 

ITri72

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May 14, 2007
16
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Huntsville, TX
#6
Oh this is soooo good. Thanks for answering my questions.

Well, I got a little ahead of myself last night by saying I was going to shock right then & there. I don't have quite enough bleach to do the job so I'll tackle that tonight.

Richard thanks for the info regarding pollen vs. algae. I've got some in a bucket right now & will keep an eye on it. Wish I had a microscope! ALSO, you answered a question for me before I even asked it. I had read somewhere else about lowering pH before shocking & since my pH tends to hover around 7.8 I was going to ask about that next.

Jason thanks for answering about the CYA. I think I'll treat my pool as if the CYA is around 35 since it measured there pretty consistently in previous weeks & I haven't added anything with sanitizer that would cause it to rise this high.

I am encouraged by all the help even though my pool is still a mess. I think I'll take a couple of pictures & track the progress.

More to come,
~Susie
 

ITri72

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May 14, 2007
16
0
Huntsville, TX
#7
Well, I'm finally making progress. Have taken some photos, but need to figure out how to post them here. Just wanted to ask a few more questions.

My pool looks soooo much better. It's cloudy, but I can see the bottom. The green hue is completely gone & the beautiful blue is back, however I noticed this morning a couple of spots where the same brownish, yellowish, greenish gunk had settled. Tonight, FC was at 18ppm w/ minimal CC. I am going to raise the chlorine back to 20ppm tonight just to be safe.

My question is - when is it safe to let the chlorine come back down? Does it matter if the pool is still cloudy as long as I'm not finding anymore spots of algae? And WHY am I still finding these spots? The chlorine has been HIGH HIGH HIGH since Saturday night. Somehow it got up over 30ppm. My 6% must have had some extra punch to it. One sidenote to consider, we're in the midst of all this Texas rain that has been a daily occurrence for the last few weeks. Would it be better to keep the chlorine up until the rain slows down or does it matter as long as there's no visible algae?

Also, I have a cartridge filter & know the cartridges should be rinsed. I read somewhere else about them working better when dirty so I haven't rinsed them yet. Is it time???

One more thing, when do I stop running the filter 24/7? When the pool is crystal clear or is now OK with the cloudiness?

OK I think I'm done rambling for now.

Thanks for all the help,
~Susie
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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#8
It sounds like you are in the home stretch, almost there.

You can start lowering the chlorine level when it holds steady overnight, or perhaps 24 hours after that. The pool will not be clear at that point, it will take a couple more days to clear completely. Keep the chlorine level around the max number for your CYA level for a while after shocking, just to make sure you got it all.

You should clean your filter now and every several days while the water is cloudy. A dirty filter is a little better for clear water, but algae saturated water gets clear faster with a clear filter.

You should run the pump 24/7 until the water is clear.

Algae spots could just be patches of algae that have died or they might mean you have not been brushing enough and haven't gotten it all yet. You need to brush the entire pool daily while it is at shock level.

I would keep the chlorine level a little higher than normal while it is raining, but you don't need to hold it at shock level because of the rain.
 

SeanB

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#9
I don't have any evidence to the contrary but I think the notion that your filter works better when it's dirty may be a bit of a misnomer - unless you are sure that the dirt has improved the micron rating and that the possible increase in micron is enough to offset the loss of flow.

I'd like to hear some more opinions on this.
 

JasonLion

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#10
My theory is that there are two different definitions of "better". I believe that a dirty filter will filter out smaller particles (dirt narrows pore size). I believe that a clean filter will filter out large particles more quickly (better flow rate). So you have: dirty is small particles slowly, while clean is large particles quickly.
 

SeanB

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#11
But whose to say how much the dirt blocks the pores? Does it narrow the hole, making for a smaller hole (better filtration) or does it just block the pore altogether for less filtration?

I tend to think that dirt particles are on the larger side and just plug the pores rather than partially block. I suppose it doesn't make too much difference as long as the dp across the filter hasn't gotten too high but once you see too much of a rise (check your manual), it's time to clean.