Mustard Algae???

Branch Fly

Active member
Aug 12, 2013
41
South Louisiana
#1
About a month ago, I took my Confer Steps out for the winter (because they slow the flow and cause algae problems) and had a slight algae bloom, so I did a slam. My water is fluctuating between 65 and 70 degrees, so my FC is not dropping but .5 ppm per day.

For the last few weeks, I've been noticing small orangish/yellowish patches on the pool floor that come up with one pass of the brush, unless I let it sit more than a day, then it can take a few passes. I was chalking it up to pollen since we have a fall pollen season. My FC level has been between 5 and 6 ppm, no CC's.

I vacuumed yesterday, but had small patches AGAIN TODAY and even on small patch of green algae. (The green algae patch was noticeably different from what I've been seeing with the orange/yellow patches). The water seemed a bit dull so now I'm slamming.

Should I go ahead and SLAM for mustard algae after I finish the regular SLAM?

My levels prior to the SLAM were:

FC- 5
CC-0
CYA- 50
TA- 110

Thanks in advance.
 

Branch Fly

Active member
Aug 12, 2013
41
South Louisiana
#3
They are typically in the same spots, but all over. My pool gets really full sun, and without the steps there is really no shady spot. The areas I see this stuff tend to get several hours of sun per day. Maybe it is pollen or a variation or green algae.
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
#4
See if you can carefully collect some of it. If you have a microscope, it will be easy to distinguish pollen which is solid often with spikes vs. algae which is translucent and usually oblong. Pollen usually feels squishy while algae is usually slimy.
 

Branch Fly

Active member
Aug 12, 2013
41
South Louisiana
#5
I don't have a microscope but can probably get access to one through my kids' schools. Any recommendations on how to get a sample from the bottom of the pool?

I followed Pool Math and should have and FC of 20 to SLAM with a CYA of 50, but when I checked it, the math was a little off and I was at a FC of 25 last night. This morning I was still at 25 and my cc's were less than 1 but not 0. The water was clearer but not perfect. There was some green algae grow in the middle so I brushed. So at this point if I'm only loosing .5 ppm per day of FC, all I should do is keep brushing until the water is clear.

Also, it seems that I have a suction side air leak to track down and fix. Could that be contributing to my algae problems?
 

Sandra B

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 8, 2011
103
Shreveport, LA
#6
I got a sample of mine by sneaking up on it with a turkey baster...you could use an eyedropper or anything that you can suck the water into. My water was warm at the time though. But if the water is too cold and the "object" too deep, maybe I'd rig up a siphon hose and siphon some from the bottom into a 5 gallon bucket, then let it settle to the bottom of the bucket and then use the dropper to pull some out.
 

pooladdict

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In The Industry
May 14, 2007
819
New Brunswick Canada
#7
Suction leak will cause diminished flow, which affects circulation. Make sure your eyes on returns are pointed in a downward angle to move the water in a circle that goes from bottom to top, if that makes sense.
 

duraleigh

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#8
Yeah, I think pooladdict might be on to something with diminished flow or, at least, poorly directed flow.

Do you have lot's of bubbles in the pump strainer basket when the pump is running?

It is unusual to have an algae issue given your FC, CYA and the pool water temps you have.

How often are you running the pump?

Backwashed lately?

What is your clean psi and then psi just prior to backwashing?
 

Branch Fly

Active member
Aug 12, 2013
41
South Louisiana
#9
I have a 2 speed pump with a cartridge filter. Just cleaned the filter. I've been running the pump on high for six hours since the water got too cold. There is a pretty serious whirlpool in the skimmer. My return jet causes a a decent ripple on top of the water. Should I angle it down more?
 

pooladdict

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In The Industry
May 14, 2007
819
New Brunswick Canada
#11
Put new o rings in all unions and ball valves, that is where it is 99% of the time. If that doesn't fix it, then you call in leak detector.

By the way, on full speed you should see zero bubbles, some 2 speeds will show a little bubbling, but not a big vortex.
 

duraleigh

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#14
Do you have lot's of bubbles in the pump strainer basket when the pump is running? It is unclear from your posts what your psi is??

What do you mean, "pretty serious vortex"? Are you sucking air into the system?

There should be no air whatsoever in a properly operating system.

And, No, it is not ball valves and unions that are the most common culprit. The most common cause is a misfitting pump strainer basket lid but there are other causes, too.

Please confirm that you even have air leaking into your system and we can go from there.
 

Branch Fly

Active member
Aug 12, 2013
41
South Louisiana
#15
Yes there are bubbles in the pump strainer basket. My PSI is 15 with a clean, used filter. It usually is around 13. When I bled the valve on the filter this morning it bled air for AT LEAST 30 seconds. The basket lid gasket and drain plug gaskets are new and yesterday I heavily lubed them with silicone plumbers lube. I can't find any water leaks with the system on or off. The vortex in the skimmer is not as bad as I thought!
 

duraleigh

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#16
If there are bubbles in the pump strainer basket, then you have a "suction side air leak".

There is an article in Pool School" that may help you in tracking it down......sometimes they can be difficult to find.
 

Branch Fly

Active member
Aug 12, 2013
41
South Louisiana
#17
So I raised my FC to 30 last night with a cya of 50. It looks much clearer this morning and I lost 1 ppm of FC overnight with no cc's. Ive been brushing like crazy. There is still some orange spots popping up on the floor only and they reappear in only a few hours after brushing. With this cold of water and such a small loss of FC, I'm thinking the orange spots are not mustard algae but I'll keep it at 30 until tomorrow morning.

This morning I also aimed the return more toward the bottom of the pool. Once I finish a report for work I'm gonna go out and try to find that air leak. Didn't sleep more than an hour at a time last night worrying about all of this! Just my obsessive way I guess.
 

Patrick_B

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Jun 7, 2011
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Midland TX
#18
Yea, that doesn't sound like Algae. It won't flourish like that in 30 PPM FC. Let us know how it goes, and good luck with the air leak, those can be tough to find.
 

Branch Fly

Active member
Aug 12, 2013
41
South Louisiana
#19
I sheered the head off of the drain plug, most likely from over tightening. When I went to the pool store to get a new plug, they gave me a brand new filter basket at NO CHARGE. I heavily lubed the o-ring with plumbers lube, as well as the o-ring on the cartridge housing. When I installed the new basket, I cut the supply line and added one of the threaded unions I've seen others on the sight use. Bottom line, NO CHANGE. I still have bubbles in the filter basket. If duraleigh is correct in that bubbles in the filter basket indicate an air leak before the basket, then I am at an absolute loss. I will re-read the article on this kind of leak.

Any other suggestions?
 

duraleigh

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#20
Air leaks into the system (pump running) can ONLY occur on the suction side of the system. basically between the impeller and the skimmer(s). Your leak is between those two points.

Anything on the pressure side of the system (pump running) would result in a water leak, not air.