My sad 2021 SLAM thread - sunscreen, not algae? Draining and refilling was the solution

crimson avenger

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Jun 22, 2019
326
Chicago
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
So I thought I was doing pretty well in 2021. First full year owning a pool - thought I got the hang of the TFP methods after our pool opened up last year. Had to do a couple of SLAMs.

But a few weeks ago, after having a few people over, noticed the CCs went up to 1 (I test daily). Went back down after a few days. Actually posted about this on this forum and we attributed it to the bather load.

Keep in mind my pool is only 2300 gallons (yes I’ve read the article on seasonal pools). So there really are wild shifts in daily chlorine consumption depending on how much it is being used.

Well, two weeks ago we had 18 people in this tiny pool at various points of the day. Tons of fun.

Water looked slightly cloudy the next day (I made an effort to bring the FC up to 10, and then only higher as time went on). I checked my FC at the end of the pool party and it was 5 - that was the lowest it got.

I brought up to what I thought was SLAM level (16), thinking that would nip it in the bud… but chlorine consumption just continued to increase. Pool hasn’t been cloudy (although maybe it isn’t as clear as some of the TFP clear pool pics - those are really impressive), and CCs finally dropped down from 1.5 right after the party to 0-0.5 now.

So there I am, brushing and vacuuming twice daily… all parts of the pool… and still the chlorine consumption. I switched out my filters… then an AHA moment.

I had previously tested my CYA at 40. Well, the screw cap is kinda busted on my mixing bottle… so rather than squirting it out into the comparator tube… I was just pouring. Well apparently that doesn’t result in the same amount of agitation… so I thought my CYA was only 40… but when I changed my technique (and compared it to my CYA 50 standard reagent) - turns out it’s 60.

So I’ve been slamming at or above (mostly) 24 ppm for the last couple of days.

Also considered trying to get behind my LED lights, but I read elsewhere on this forum that the tiny LEDs are nicheless (they do have an electrical conduit behind them… but that’s 50 feet log). Also they have what seem like a million pieces so didn’t want to take those apart unless I absolutely have to. Attaching a pic of those as well.

Have been squirting bleach in the drains (pic attached) - don’t want to take those apart.

I guess I’m just frustrated. This is my saga. Not sure I have any specific questions, just lamenting all the spinning of wheels… and consuming 10-20 ppm/day of chlorine over the last two weeks. I kept the SWG going at one point as I’m a healthcare worker who can’t always be home checking on this stuff. But I’m back to the good old TFP basics now and following things as carefully as possible… although admittedly going over SLAM level just for convenience.

Considering draining, addressing any lights/drains issues, and refilling. :unsure:

pH brought down to 7.3 (used pH meter to do this)
FC 25
CC 0
CYA 60
TA 100
CH 150
 

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mknauss

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May 3, 2014
44,843
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
30.5 is well above SLAM level FC for your CYA. Do not do that.

I would let the FC come down to 20 ppm or a little less and do the OCLT again.
 

crimson avenger

Gold Supporter
Jun 22, 2019
326
Chicago
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
Had a graduation party and got home at midnight.
12am - 23.5 ppm
6 am - 18.5 ppm (CC 1 - pool was covered all night and I tested immediately upon opening).
Added 14 Oz of 12.5%. Steadily losing about 1 ppm per hour.

Something is growing, I presume.

7 am - 25.5 ppm, CC 1. Confirms something’s growing.
7:30 am - vacuumed and brushed. No visible gunk anywhere
8:30 am - 24.5 ppm, CC 1

About to scream! Those little buggers are getting the best of me…
:drown:
 
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Mike1162

Silver Supporter
Jun 13, 2015
1,104
N Tonawanda, NY
I'd keep it at SLAM levels today & repeat the OCLT tonight. If you've brushed & the water is clear then there might be organics in the filter consuming the chlorine. Might want to clean the filter if you fail the OCLT again tonight. Speaking of the filter do you really have a 3HP motor on a 2,300 gal pool?
 
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crimson avenger

Gold Supporter
Jun 22, 2019
326
Chicago
Surface
Fiberglass
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I'd keep it at SLAM levels today & repeat the OCLT tonight. If you've brushed & the water is clear then there might be organics in the filter consuming the chlorine. Might want to clean the filter if you fail the OCLT again tonight. Speaking of the filter do you really have a 3HP motor on a 2,300 gal pool?
I’ll try. Although I have been vacuuming and brushing twice daily for almost 2 weeks. Cleaned filter a couple days ago. Water has been clear for a while. yes I was probably over-sold. We have all the bells and whistles for a glorified hot tub.
 

crimson avenger

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Jun 22, 2019
326
Chicago
Surface
Fiberglass
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SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
Couple questions. So i have technically only been at my official 24 ppm SLAM level for 3 days now.

1. Should I remove the drain covers and brush inside?

2. Should I take the lights out? I think these don’t have a niche, correct? Only a long electrical conduit. I’m not sure I want to take the lights out only to have whatever is inside the electrical conduit coming to the contact with the pool. I can’t sanitize the entire electrical conduit.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,843
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
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Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
If you can take the drain covers off, sure.
Nicheless lights do not need to be messed with. No algae will get behind them (no sun).
 

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crimson avenger

Gold Supporter
Jun 22, 2019
326
Chicago
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
If you can take the drain covers off, sure.
Nicheless lights do not need to be messed with. No algae will get behind them (no sun).
Thanks for your help!
I’m not 100% sure my lights are nicheless though. I’m such a newb. We have the intellibrite LEDs from Pentair (pic above).
Can you tell?
Thanks - love you guys!
 

mknauss

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May 3, 2014
44,843
Laughlin, NV
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I have the same lights. Globrite. There is no 'niche' in the classic sense. Just a receptacle that the Globrites insert into.

Be ware those Globrites are not known for their longevity. 3-4 years max. There are lights that will fit from other manufacturers that are more robust.
 
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crimson avenger

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Jun 22, 2019
326
Chicago
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My partner just accused me of being neurotic about the pool. Something I hear quite a bit about reading this forum over the last year.

Flipped out at the idea that I would use goggles and swim down to the drains and try and take them off.

So I think for the sake of my relationship I’m going to let that one sit for a little bit.

At least I was able to convince that we had to continue the SLAM.

I also forwarded a link to trouble free pools… ;)
 
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crimson avenger

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Jun 22, 2019
326
Chicago
Surface
Fiberglass
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8 pm - FC 25
6 am - FC 22.5, CC 0.5. Pool clear
Guess I’m getting somehwere.
That’s the smallest drop I’ve had yet. Gonna keep SLAMMING- finally getting some positive feedback from the pool!
 
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crimson avenger

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Jun 22, 2019
326
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
8 pm - FC 23.5, CC 1
5 am - FC 20.0, CC 0.5, water clear, but maybe not TFP clear? I say this because with the pool lights off, it looks completely clear to me. With the lights on, I detect an ever so slight amount of tiny debris in the water.

Attaching pics of what I found in the skimmer this morning. I brushed, put some on my finger and wiped on a paper towel. Pics attached. It’s more grey - like sunscreen. Again we had a huge pool party 2 weeks ago and had a 4 inch ball of sunscreen in the skimmer the next morning. Is it possible the pool is still working through the sunscreen? I use a scum ball regularly but clearly my bather load overwhelmed it.

Any reassurance or comments here? Continue SLAMMING, I know. Anything else? I cleaned filter 5 days ago…

@mknauss I know you said to let the FC level come down to 20 ppm and do an OCLT. Is it worth doing that knowing that I lost 3.5 ppm last night at only slightly higher than 20 ppm levels?
 

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crimson avenger

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Jun 22, 2019
326
Chicago
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Okay. I’m really at a loss here. I’ve been at near SLAM levels for almost two weeks now.
I have two sets of cartridges. I swapped out the sets 5 days ago and washed the old one with a garden hose. I just looked at and felt the old one - and it still has some gummy residue on the filter after washing.
I don’t know what to do. How do I clean these filters properly?
Any chemical treatments? I don’t have containers big enough to soak them in anything. Buy new filters?
Help.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
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May 3, 2014
44,843
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Is it worth doing that knowing that I lost 3.5 ppm last night at only slightly higher than 20 ppm levels?
If your water is not crystal clear, no.
I don’t know what to do. How do I clean these filters properly?
Any chemical treatments? I don’t have containers big enough to soak them in anything. Buy new filters?
TSP soak will remove oils. You can get a cheap 40 gallon plastic trash can at HD or Lowes. Or buy new filters.
 

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