Major Issues - don't even know where to start

Jrowan

Member
Sep 17, 2020
7
Magnolia, TX
Pool Size
22000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hello all, I'm in need of major advice. I've been a pool owner for 2 years now and done all of the maintenance myself, but I'm at a point to where my pool is in a very poor state and I don't even know where to start to get it back in shape. I battled some yellow algae throughout 2020 and started having a small black algae problem late summer. I got sick w/ COVID in August and the pool went untouched for most of the month. The black algae really spread and the water went green. Once I was back on my feet, I shocked the pool heavily (it literally had zero chlorine in it when I started). Chlorine levels read great after that, but the water was still green. Local pool store ran my water and said I had copper in the water, likely due to the algaecide I was using to kill the black algae. I followed their instructions to no avail. This was back in Sept-Oct timeframe. Well, I got frustrated and pretty much gave up. I have not touched my pool, except for clearing skimmers, for the last 2 months. So it's green and yucky and I'll likely see black algae if I can get the color cleared up.
I'm willing to call a pro in if this is too big for myself to get squared away. I'm willing to do the work, but I really have no idea of where to even start. Advice would be much appreciated.
 
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mknauss

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May 3, 2014
35,923
Laughlin, NV
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Welcome to the forum!
You need to follow the SLAM Process. To do that, you need a proper test kit. I suggest the TF-100 A proper test kit is needed to get the accurate water chemistry results needed to follow the TFP protocols.
The copper is concerning. How have you 'followed their instructions to no avail'? Only way to rid the water of copper is to drain it and replace with fresh water.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
 

JJ_Tex

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Jul 17, 2019
2,287
Prosper, TX (DFW)
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+1 on what Marty said.

Step 1 is to get your own test kit, read up on info here, and stop going into the pool store.

Step 2 would be posting up your test results once your test kit arrives

After that we can help guide you to getting your pool back on track. I suspect you will need to do a partial drain (to drop the levels of copper and CYA if those are high), followed by a SLAM to get rid of algae, then working on a go forward plan of chlorinating your pool so you can keep it clear of algae.
 
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Dirk

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TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
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Hi J! And welcome to TFP. The others above have given you your first steps. I just wanted to give you some encouragement. First off, you've been "pool-stored." Let me guess, they sold you the stuff with the copper to rid your pool of the algae, right? And then they tell you that you have too much copper. Classic. That, and very similar stories, are what we hear about all the time when folks find us. I won't harp on that. That's all behind you now, and you are now in the right place.

Taking care of a pool is really easy. Contrary to what you've experienced so far. That wasn't your fault. I was totally intimidated by the prospect until I found this site. Fast forward: I now know how to test the water myself, how to calculate the chemical dosages required (soooooo easy with the TFP app, called Pool Math) and how to keep my pool crystal clear and algae free. A common misconception about pools is that algae happens once in a while, so you deal with it. FALSE. If you know how to take care of the water properly, which is what we teach here, you can say good-bye to algae forever! I used to get it all the time... not any more.

And here's the crazy part: I use only four ready available chemicals (chlorine, two acids and salt)! That's it. No expensive magic potions from the pool store. Ever. No shocking, ever. This has been true for over three years now. And what all the members of TFP experience.

So buy the recommended test kit. Get a hold of a Taylor SpeedStir. That will seem a bit frivolous, until you use it for the first time. Trust me on that. We all have one. And load up the Pool Math app. Pay the in-app upgrade (about $7, I think). Once those arrive, we'll teach you how to rid your pool of the copper and the algae. It's easy. You don't need a pro. In fact, a "pro" will likely just make things worse. While you're waiting for your kit, get started on Pool School. I like the eBook version over the webpage version, both have the same content, both are available on this page:


Oh, and we're going to need to know more about your pool and equipment, so please fill in your signature. Something like mine is most helpful.


Pool store methods are not sustainable. They are designed to sell you things, and then sell you more things. Their MOs virtually always lead to failure, requiring a water exchange to start over. Exactly as you are experiencing. But this will be the last time for that. Chin up. We got you now!
 
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Jrowan

Member
Sep 17, 2020
7
Magnolia, TX
Pool Size
22000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Wow, thanks everyone. I knew I was in the right place. I've been on the site off/on over the last couple of years whenever I've had to troubleshoot an issue. I did order a K-2006C, but I got it just as I was 'giving up' on my pool. I'll go ahead and pick up the Taylor Speedstir, upgrade my app, embellish my signature, and go through the educational links this week. I'll post back once I've got those steps done. Thanks again for everyone's help, I'll post back on this thread after I've done my homework. Excited to be part of the community!
 

Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
1,270
West Palm Beach/Florida
Pool Size
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Dont know where you are in the process, but I would also start stocking up on liquid chlorine. If you can get it in bulk, ie 2.5 or 5 gallon containers that would be great, if not 1 gallon jugs from a big box store would work.

Also dont know if it was mentioned but I would start adding chlorine to the pool. I believe the recommendation is 5ppm until you start testing. You dont want what you have to get worse while learning.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
35,923
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I believe the recommendation is 5ppm until you start testing. You dont want what you have to get worse while learning.
Only issue is the copper. Adding liquid chlorine if there is copper in the water could get it to stain the pool. Best to drain the pool water if there is copper in it, prior to it staining the pool surface.
 
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Jrowan

Member
Sep 17, 2020
7
Magnolia, TX
Pool Size
22000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hey fellas....sorry for the long delay. Winter happened and we got some horrible weather here. Things are back to normal and temps are pleasant. Time to get this taken care of. So I'm pretty much set to just drain the pool and start over. I have 2 questions on this.

1. I don't have any way to bypass the filter with my setup. I have spigots on the filter side of my pumps but there's nothing on my filter to bypass the flow back to the pool. Can I still use my pumps to drain the pool or will I have to rent a sump pump? I've attached pics of my equipment for reference.

2. I live between Houston and Conroe TX and I've been told by people here that I can't drain my pool because it may pop out of the ground. In trying to research this, I've seen pictures of this happening. I was hoping to drain the whole pool, power wash & clean it, then refill it. Can I drain my entire pool without worrying about this?
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
35,923
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I can't drain my pool because it may pop out of the ground
Then I would not drain it. There is no need to power wash a plaster surface. In fact, you most likely would damage it.

Read the Exchange portion of Draining - Further Reading. You will need a sump pump.
 
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Jrowan

Member
Sep 17, 2020
7
Magnolia, TX
Pool Size
22000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Update...rented sump pump from Home Depot over the weekend and used the exchange method. I'm pretty confident the pump did not produce anywhere near the 60 gal/hr rate that they advertised. I ran it 8 hours Friday and another 7 on Sunday. I figured that I exchanged 80% or so of the water. I thought that would be good enough instead of having to keep the pump another day.

I opened up my filter and cleaned out my cartridges yesterday and ran my tests today. I adjusted the PH w/ acid and then later, I added 3 Gal of liquid bleach. I had purchased the premium Pool Math app back when I first started this thread and I was impressed when it does the SLAM calculations for you. I'll start testing twice a day tomorrow. Pool pump is set to run 24/7.
 
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Jrowan

Member
Sep 17, 2020
7
Magnolia, TX
Pool Size
22000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
So I've been on a 3x per day measuring schedule and I've had to add 11+ gallons of liquid chlorine. Water color is now starting to change from green to a cloudy color. I've also been running my fountains to better circulate water. I'm seeing foam & bubbles on the water surface when I run my fountains. Is this something I should take care of now or wait until the SLAM is done? If now, what needs done?
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,142
NY
Water color is now starting to change from green to a cloudy color
That means it’s working. Yay !!! Testing/adding every 2 hours would have gotten you here sooner, but life gets in the way sometimes and you’re here now.
I'm seeing foam & bubbles on the water surface when I run my fountains. Is this something I should take care of now or wait until the SLAM is done
That ALSO means it’s working. Make sure to ‘M’ (Maintain of the SLaM). The more you stay at SLaM levels, the quicker it goes. Once the pool has gone completely blue (ish) you have killed the algae and it becomes more of a filtering fight and less of a chlorine fight. (But keep them levels up just because you don’t want ANY chance of losing ground). Clean your filters anytime the PSI raises 25%, or sooner if you’re almost there and the timing is more convenient.

Keep at it you are doing GREAT !!!
 
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Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
1,270
West Palm Beach/Florida
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Dont worry about the foaming (unless you are using bleach with additives then stop that). The foaming should slow down and stop as you complete the SLAM.
 
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Jrowan

Member
Sep 17, 2020
7
Magnolia, TX
Pool Size
22000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Well, since Wed evening, I've added 23 gallons of 10% liquid chlorine. Water color is a cloudy, gray, almost cement type color. I'm checking FC every 2 hours and I've been having to add about 1.5 gallons every 2 hours (during waking hours). Filters are running great in terms of PSI and water flow/movement looks good. Just waiting on water to clear up. Any idea how long SLAM usually takes on a very dirty pool? I'm going to run out and buy another 6 cases of chlorine just to get me through the rest of the weekend. I figured that would get me to Monday afternoon.
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
If its gray not green.. that usually means dead algae.. at this stage you need to clean your filters alot to help filtering the suspended dead algae. Also .. you should run your fountains at least 30 min every few days to flush out the lines anyway. Also brush, brush brush.. that disrupts the algae membranes so they don't regrow. And loot for hiding places that algae can hide and repopulate from.
 

kellyfair

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 29, 2016
3,605
Tampa, FL
We should have advised taking a starting photo, then periodic progress photos. It can seem like you are stuck on a plateau until you can visually compare today to a couple of days ago!

Keep up with your SLAM, you are doing great. On days that you can test and dose more frequently, do that. It will speed up the process.