Mustard Algar and "No Mor Problems" Attn Chem Geeks

srnorris

New member
Apr 2, 2017
4
South Pasadena
Forgive me! Subject Should Read - Mustard Algae!

I have a question on the treatment of Mustard Algae. Hoping that Chem Geek user might see this as well, as he seems a complete genius in this area....


Quick question. Last summer we had mustard algae on the north facing side of our pool (bio in my profile) and used "No Mor Problems" as a treatment. It worked wonderfully, with apparently no ill effects.

This year, as the weather warms here in Southern Cal - the mustard algae is again coming back, and I just used a small dose to treat it. I am concerned in reading on this forum that using this product is turning my salt water pool (with chlorine generator) into a bromide/bromine pool? I dose lightly, using about 4 ozs per week of No More for my 14,000 gallon pool.

Please advise on the risk and effects of this, if you may? What does this product do, exactly to the chemistry of my pool, and is this counter to running a sale water pool? Thank you in advance. Be as nerdy in your reply as possible!
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,885
Tucson, AZ
You should stop using the product...and you might need to drain your pool.

No Mor Problems is 100% sodium bromide. When you add NaBr to a chlorine swimming pool, the chlorine converts the bromide (inert) ion into sanitizing bromine (hypobromous acid). Adding 4oz of NaBr to your 14,000gallon pool is the equivalent of adding 2.1ppm bromide to your pool. So, if you used the product weekly, you probably have enough of a concentration of bromide ion in your pool that it is now a bromine pool. Bromine can not be stabilized toward UV photolysis and so you probably have a fairly high extinction rate of sanitizer. If you are using the FAS-DPD testkit, you need to know that the DPD powder actually reacts to both bromine and chlorine and combined bromines (monobromamine) act as oxidizers, so the pink color that you titrate to clear is actually measuring total bromine levels, not free chlorine or combine chlorine unless you add enough chlorine to completely oxidize the bromide and have chlorine in excess of that amount.

Unfortunately, your pool is only going to be harder to manage from this point on. If you can figure out how much of this product you have added since using it, we might be able to figure out how much bromine is in the water. However, given all of the rain that has hit SoCal and the likely dilutions your pool has experienced, figuring this out exactly will be problematic at best. The only way to get rid of bromine is to replace water.
 

srnorris

New member
Apr 2, 2017
4
South Pasadena
My goodness. Very sobering reply.

I have only used a total of 8 ozs of the product (in the last two weeks) since the fall of 2016. Have I essentially poisoned my pool?! I am using a DPD liquid basic test kit (which I think you indicated is now giving me a "false" bromine reading instead of chlorine!!!), and I did add chlorine powder with the first 4 ozs. at the recommendation of the Leslies pool supply people, as they indicated using No More Problems "uses up chlorine" in excess of what the SWG can produce. Chlorine level was very high prior to putting in No More Problems. I must admit your reply language is a bit too geeky for me, so you might help me out a bit more? My just now DPD test shows diminished chlorine from about 5PPm to 2PPM, and I have turned up the salt generator to 100% (from 40%) for the next day or so to compensate, and added about 1/2 cup of dry chlorine to the pool, directly.

Tell me if all is not lost!?

You have me very concerned here, as if I am completely fouling up everything, which was not the case last year, or so I thought. Why are we not warned of this issue at Leslies Pool Supply, or are we dealing with a bunch of folks who never even took a basic pool chemistry class in order to inform us neophytes of what is going on......or worst case, is Leslies just trying to move any kind of product they can off of their shelves?! Finally, I should add that last year, using a maintenance dose of this product in the summer months only (4 ozs per week) the pool sparkled all summer and showed consistently high chlorine (or so I thought).

I should also note, and get your response to this post on the No Mor Problems manufacturers web site, which is a bit calming to me

I look forward to any responses here, and again, thank you!
 

AimeeH

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Apr 2, 2012
2,002
Columbia SC
Hi srnorris and welcome to TFP

Matt gave you the correct answer to your question but the real question is how do you want to take care of your pool for the long term? Here, we advocate taking control of your own water by testing your water yourself (with a quality test kit) along with learning a tiny amount of pool chemistry and adding only what the pool needs. We often feel that pool store testing is simply inaccurate and their advice even worse than that.

Our advice will simply not work when mixed with pool store advice. i highly reccomend doing some reading in pool school (linked above at top of page) including the basics here : Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

And ask lots of questions.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,535
Sebring, Florida
Ditto what Matt and Aimee are saying. The advice given here will not match what you hear from other sources.

It is not our mission to debunk whatever else you might read but rather lay out a simple clear method of taking care of your pool. We hope you will read and learn what we teach. It is quite eye opening.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,885
Tucson, AZ
I should also note, and get your response to this post on the No Mor Problems manufacturers web site, which is a bit calming to me

I look forward to any responses here, and again, thank you!
That is pure B/S from United Chemicals.

They are using interchangeable chemistry terms to make it sound official. Chlorine oxidizes bromide into bromine changing the oxidation state of the bromine atom from -1 (bromide) to +1 (bromine in the form of hypobromous acid, HOBr). In the process, chlorine is being reduced in its oxidation state from +1 (chlorine) to -1 (chloride).

In chemistry parlance, the chlorine in the above reaction is referred to as "the oxidizing agent" and the bromine is referred to as "the reducing agent". That doesn't mean anything gets "hidden".

The bromine is essentially using up the chlorine and will continue to do so until the chlorine is completely spent. That is because the bromine, as hypobromous acid, can not be stabilized against UV photolysis (destruction by UV light) whereby the UV light now acts as the stronger "reducing agent". Therefore as the bromine gets turned back into bromide, the chlorine will get used up constantly regenerating the bromide back into bromine. On and on the cycle goes until all of your chlorine is gone.

Chlorine (Cl+) is a disinfectant and oxidizer. Chloride (Cl-) is harmless table salt. The fact that United Chemical would print what they just did is proof that they don't care about your safety, only getting into your wallet!

As for OTO versus DPD, both tests will yield the same value because they will read total bromine levels when only bromine is present. DPD by itself only detects free chlorine and/or total bromine. And so, when the combination of bromine and chlorine has turned everything into nasty chloramines and/or bromamines, the OTO test will read higher than the DPD test depending on what trihalomethanes are in the water. But that is MOST CERTAINLY NOT proof that chlorine is still there.

As others have said, you can follow the advice of the pool industry that is there to pick your pockets or you can follow the advice of TFP. The choice is yours.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

needsajet

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 4, 2016
4,588
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Welcome to TFP! Good to have you here :)

Matt is a TFP chemistry expert, and he ain't wrong. I hope you follow Trouble Free Pool Care because you'll save a heap of money and have way less headaches. I've followed several bromine pool threads, and it's painful to understand, expensive, and hard to do properly. It's not the 8 oz of bromine added this year; it's all the bromine you've added including last year. Those chem co and pool $tore recommendations are unlikely to work reliably for you, and you've unknowingly switched from a chlorine pool to a bromine pool. Bet they didn't warn you about that.

Like Matt says, it's the pool owners decision which way to go, and of course we hope you go the practical way and stick around. Is the ground around your area soaked from the heavy rains? Is it a concrete pool? What size is it? Pictures would be good. We can give you advice for a safe drain and refill, which is important because pools can move when they're emptied. Drain/refill is a major undertaking, but is the only way to get rid of bromine, and isn't as expensive as you think :). It's only fair to tell you that up front, which Matt kindly did.