Like everyone else -struggling with greeen pool

NancyG123

Member
May 27, 2020
15
Massachusetts
Hi,

We are about a week in to trying to turn our pool blue from murky green. I was just about to floc it, but in researching the best way to do that I found this forum recommending NOT to do that. We have an above-ground 12,500 gallon pool with a vinyl lining and a DE filter. BTW, I know I should add that to my signature but can't figure out how to do that.

What we have been doing is testing with pool-store test strips and only adding chorine when it registers as low. It hasn't done that so we haven't been adding much, and I am now thinking we should be throwing in a TON of chlorine. Problem is I don't know how many ppm of chlorine because the test strips don't tell that. My husband has on order an AquaChek TruTest digital test strip reader. Is anyone familiar with this, and will it help or should we just return it when it arrives and get the kits suggested on this forum?

In the meantime should I go outside and poor two gallons of liquid chlorine in right now, and then repeat that 3 - 4 time per day until it clears? Will that do it absent a decent test kit? Thanks!
Nancy
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
2,177
Milwaukee, WI
Welcome! Your signature is showing now. If you're on a mobile device you might have to turn it sideways to make the signature display.

My understanding is the AquaChek still uses test strips, just with a reader. So it still relies on strips. Not very accurate, and since you need to follow the SLAM Process, you need something that can read higher ppm of FC and give you a bit more accuracy of your CYA.

I would definitely get one of the recommended dropper test kits. It's going to allow you to have a much better idea of the chemical levels in your water, and be able to get through the SLAM with accuracy. You can dump a bunch of chlorine in and hope it clears....but that may not fix underlying issues like super-high CYA, and if you add too much FC you risk damaging the liner and pool equipment.

Until it gets here, I would add 5ppm worth of liquid chlorine in daily. Pool Math (link at the bottom for the web page version, or as an app on your smartphone) will tell you how much that is - it depends on how strong the liquid chlorine you have is. :)
 

NancyG123

Member
May 27, 2020
15
Massachusetts
Dustin, thanks very much. I've been trying to order a TF100 pool test kit but found them sold out online. Are they available on this site? I've seen references to it but can't find any way to purchase. Are there other specifically recommended kits in that case?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
30,848
Laughlin, NV
I suggest the TF100. A proper test kit is needed to get the accurate water chemistry results needed to follow the TFP protocols.

Click the link or go to TFTestkits.net.
 

NancyG123

Member
May 27, 2020
15
Massachusetts
Thanks, I ordered the TF100 testing kit. But in the meantime I am struggling with the PoolMath app. My pool is 12,500 gallons, and I have 12.5% sodium hypochloride bleach. But I can't see where to enter this information into the app, re: the above recommendation of "Until it [I.e., the test kit] gets here, I would add 5ppm worth of liquid chlorine in daily". If I do the math myself (converting the pool volume to ounces then calculating 5 ppm I am getting 8 ounces. :) I doubt that is right! (or actually, maybe it is 64 ounces if I divide by 12.5%, but still doesn't seem like enoung unless that is the amount to add 3 - 4 times per day?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
30,848
Laughlin, NV
Touch New Log. Select Log Test Results. Enter 0 in FC and save by touching the check mark.

Touch the FC that says 0. Change Target Free Chlorine to 5 ppm. Enter the strength of bleach you are using.
 

aeh0603

Well-known member
Apr 6, 2016
349
San Diego, CA
For your pool using 12.5% bleach, half a gallon will add 5ppm FC.

In the app, if you click the gear icon in the top right corner you can set your pool volume. Then if you click the menu icon on the top left (looks like three lines) you can go to "Effects of Adding" then enter the desired chemical and amount to see what it will do in your pool.
 

NancyG123

Member
May 27, 2020
15
Massachusetts
Okay, so my TF-100 kit arrived today and I've just done a complete set of tests. In the meantime my pool has on its own turned pretty clear and blue (because we added a ton of chlorine before I found this site), just a bit cloudy. Here is where we are at - chlorine sky high and beyond that I'm not sure how to interpret the tests (I'll read up on it, but wanted to post in the meantime):

Free Chlorine 62 drops = 31 ppm
CC 36 drops = 18 ppm
Total Chlorine 49 ppm yikes!
I should mention on the above tests I kept adding drops until the water was really clear, i.e., no tinge of pink - was that maybe unnecessary?

Calcium hardness (vinyl pool liner) - water did not turn red - turned slightly yellow. I added 12 drops of R-011L which did NOT turn the water blue, but then I stopped since the water hadn't turned red to begin with . . . should I have kept going?

Total alkalinity = 12 drops to turn yellow = 120 TA

CYA test = 50.

My main issue now is the cloudiness (and waiting for the chlorine level to come down to earth). Any suggestions given the above test results would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Nancy
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
4,493
NW Ohio
Great job on getting a reliable kit. If you were still using strips it would probably be showing zero chlorine. You can imagine how that could go wrong really quickly...

No reason to think your chlorine tests are incorrect. The TA and CH tests confirm it, they are bleaching out. You'll get better results when the FC drops down. The best thing to do right now would be to allow your FC to drop down to 10 ppm so that you can get an accurate pH test. From there you can adjust the pH to 7.2 and begin the SLAM Process. That will keep a more reasonable FC level in the water to kill anything that's left and prevent anything from growing back while you allow your filter to clear the water.
 
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NancyG123

Member
May 27, 2020
15
Massachusetts
Hi, I took some new tests today and I actually think I did a better job this time :).

Free Chlorine 50 drops = 25 ppm
CC 5 drops = 2.5 ppm
Total Chlorine 27.5 ppm

Calcium hardness (vinyl pool liner) - 8 drops = 200 ppm

Total alkalinity = 9 drops to turn yellow = 90 TA

CYA test = 50.

The water is looking better/less cloudy but there is definitely algae present. Time to SLAM?

Thanks,
Nancy
 

NancyG123

Member
May 27, 2020
15
Massachusetts
Okay, so I've been doing the SLAM process but interestingly I haven't had to do much. My FC was effectively at SLAM (20 - 24 ppm) level when I started because I had dumped so much chlorine in before finding this site. All my other levels are fine (pH 7.2; TA 120; CH 200; CYA 50). MY CC is zero and I passed the OCLT on the first try. BUT, I still constantly have little tufts or tumbleweeds of what I assume is algae, but maybe dead algae? I brush the pool constantly but within literally 30 seconds it all settles back down. We have been thoroughly vacuuming every morning, and running the filter 24/7. What should I do? Should I add more chlorine? Something else? Just let the chlorine drift down and keep brushing/vacuuming?

Thanks!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
30,848
Laughlin, NV
The first criteria for a successful SLAM is crystal clear water. If you have dead algae in the pool, you do not have crystal clear water.

Stay at SLAM level for a couple days, keep brushing and vacuuming. If it still does not clear up, let us know.
 

NancyG123

Member
May 27, 2020
15
Massachusetts
Hi, so I have been keeping my pool at SLAM level for an additional two days and still have these yellowish clouds forming at the bottom of my pool, but I am now thinking it is POLLEN, not algae. We have a ridiculous amount of pollen in Massachusetts right now - everything is covered in it, and I know for a fact quite a bit is getting in my pool, because I can see it floating on the surface.

My pool is not consuming a lot of chlorine at all. Also, the "yellowish clouds" are spread uniformly across the bottom of my whole pool - and not on the sides, or lurking in corners or shady spots. Has anyone else been dealing with this? So I think I am going to let the chlorine normalize, and just vacuum like crazy every day.