New Pool owner - Chlorine demand keeps rising / hair turned green

Jan 30, 2018
12
Adelaide, Australia
#1
Hi all

Just posted an introductory post, thanks in advance for your advice.

As noted in my post, I have a reasonable grasp on what I am doing, but was hoping for some help on a specific item.

About 6 weeks ago I had an algae outbreak. Prior to the outbreak, I notice that I had to keep raising my chlorine setting on my SWG. After reaching max (8), I needed to then start increasing my filter run time from 8 - 10 hours per day. The pool shop noted that all people have trouble with SWG during hot whether periods and that I needed to substitute with stabilised chlorine. At the time my stabiliser levels where in the range.

Shortly after I let the water get too low which stopped filtering for a night, and the pool turned green. I ran a shock process as prescribed by the pool shop using non stabalised chlorine and an algaecide. I then cleared the algae by way of vacuuming and the pool and it was back clear again. Then, a week later I accidentally let some air into my filter when clearing the pump basket. When I turned the filter back on and it forced the air into the pool via the returns, it also forced a whole lot of green much. I then cleared the pool via a clarifier tablet and back washed.

After the shock, I lasted 6 weeks with the salt chlorinator set at 3 and the filter running for 8 hours per day. The Chlorine was quite stable.

Recently, due to some heavy use, the FC dropped to about 0.5 - 1. Since then, I have needed to constantly increase the Chlorine level on the SWG. I am now back to 7 (out of 8) and it's only just maintaining my FC level at around 3.

A test at the local pool shop reveals the following:

FC 2.8
CC 2.8 (total chlorine)
PH 7.5
TA 95
CYA 43
CH 227
Salt 4530
Copper - 0

I have also added a maintenance dose of Algaecide (copper based), the same as I used to in the shock

The pool gets about 5 hours of direct sun per day as it's between two houses.

The water temp is 28 degrees celsius, outside temp has been high 38 degrees celsius.

Swimming once per day to once every two days.

I don't currently have an at home kit suitable to carry out a OCLT test, but I will try to perform over the weekend by taking a sample at evening and morning. I am in the process of purchasing the recommended test kit.

My question is, why does my Chlorine demand keep rising. I am guessing that there must be a form of algae that is eating it all up, but the pool is clear. Does this indicate I need to SLAM the pool. If so, is it better to SLAM using Chlorine or an oxidiser? The last time I shocked the pool I couldn't use it for 2 weeks, so I am hoping I may be able to use an oxidiser if possible?

I know there are people on this forum who rarely need to SLAM , so am open to any advice on how I can keep my Chlorine demand at a steady rate.

One other bit of information, a blond child who recently swam in my pool (for about 4 hours) got green hair??!? I don't know if this is due to the copper algaecide, but it says - no green hair, and copper came up 0 on the test??

I have read similar threads but none that specifically relate to my issue.

Thanks in advance.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,468
SW Indiana
#2
Welcome to TFP!

The green hair is due to copper algaecide use. Not much you can do to get rid of it other than changing the water I’m afraid. It can begin to deposit on pool surfaces as a stain as well.

Your stabilizer level is too low for most SWCGs, which will make it a struggle to keep up with chlorine demand. Check into the recommended level for your generator. SLAMmingwould probably help get things under control for the SWCG to take over.

Pool store testing is generally very bad and their advice is equally bad. If you can get your own reagents you will be much better off.
 
May 10, 2017
1,819
Hays, Kansas
#3
Welcome to tfp!

If you added copper algaecides, there copper in your water, and welcome to pool store care, sell you something that causes a problem somewhere else so you have to buy more stuff. We also have no faith in pool store testing.

If I was you, I would obtain the clear choice labs kit that is available in Australia if I'm correct and while that's coming in I would try to do the biggest water exchange that you can do to lower the copper amount. You do have to be careful as a high water table can float your pool.

After the water exchange, test your cya and if needed build it to 30 and slam the pool. You still have algae and other fuzzies in the pool and adding the pool store magic potions only hid them up for a bit, you need to completely destroy them, and a shock held with bleach does that.

After the slam build your cya to 70, and enjoy your pool, use the rest of the information on this site to have a clear, cheaply maintained, pool.

Have your Blondy use a hair clairifier for the green.
 
OP
OP
Dcrimp
Jan 30, 2018
12
Adelaide, Australia
#4
Thanks for the information everyone.

Green Hair

With regard to green hair, I have been doing a lot of reading on this and it appears that the best method for removing copper is a partial refill or full refill. If I am correct in this, it is likely something I would like to do during winter (off season) for a few reasons:

a) tap water during winter is about 50% the cost as it is during summer
b) I can continue to use the pool during summer
c) I would like to research the quality of the tap water so make sure I am not introducing more problems (for all I know the copper could be in the tap water!)
d) If I need to empty a reasonable amount of water (ie 50%+) I could consider doing a full empty, and then performing a few house keeping projects when the pool is empty, such as cleaning the stone around the pool (acid washing) and removing the stains from the tiles (again, acid washing).
e) I want to research the best method for doing a partial or full pool empty so as to do it properly, and not have to do it again.

All of these signs point to doing a pool empty in Winter, as a long term pool target. I'm sure people on this forum can offer advice as to some other things that I can consider when it is empty, such as installing new lights, repairing grout etc etc.

Do you think that this is reasonable, and if so,

a) is there any thing short term that can be done for green hair?
b) is the level of copper SAFE for general health? On that basis, when purchasing a new house, is it ever worth doing a detailed water test to check water safety (ie check for harmful elements)? I have a few pregnant women and children using the pool.



On the basis that the copper issue is reasonable to differ until Winter (6 months), I then need to tackle the rising chlorine demand.

I take if from the above that an oxidiser is not appropriate, and I should simply run the SLAM process with a non - stabilised chlorine, then increase CYA.

Questions:

1. My pool only gets about 4 - 5 hours of direct sub per day, do you still think I need to increase CYA levels
2. MY SWG notes the range of 40 - 80, but this site seems to suggest 70 minimum. Would you still recommend 70 CYA?
3. With my current CYA, I will need to raise FC to about 20. How long will this take to reduce back down to safe levels after the Shock period is complete?
3. On the basis of a 70 CYA, am I correct that my target Chlorine should be 5 minimum 3? All of the literature tells me 1 - 3. Could running it a 1 - 3 be the cause of rising chlorine demand?


Thanks in advance, and sorry for the big posts. I'm still wrapping my head around this.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
May 3, 2014
12,803
Laughlin, NV
#5
1. My pool only gets about 4 - 5 hours of direct sub per day, do you still think I need to increase CYA levels
It is best to have at least 60 ppm CYA with a SWCG. If it is oversized. If it is rated for less than 2X your pool volume, then 80 ppm is better.
2. MY SWG notes the range of 40 - 80, but this site seems to suggest 70 minimum. Would you still recommend 70 CYA?
See answer 1.
3. With my current CYA, I will need to raise FC to about 20. How long will this take to reduce back down to safe levels after the Shock period is complete?
Shock level FC is safe. You can swim in it with out issue. It will take a couple days for the FC to drop to Target levels.
3. On the basis of a 70 CYA, am I correct that my target Chlorine should be 5 minimum 3? All of the literature tells me 1 - 3. Could running it a 1 - 3 be the cause of rising chlorine demand?
See [FC/CYA][/FC/CYA]. 1-3 ppm is not sufficient. You have algae because of it.

- - - Updated - - -

On the issue of the copper. If it is high enough to effect blonde hair, you are on the cusp of it staining your pool. You might be OK, or you might not. Nothing can be done, excluding exchanging water, to reduce the copper.

It is not a health issue.
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
2,677
Pacific NW
#6
You could always drain down a couple feet worth of water in the evening then refill over night.
Doing that 4 to 5 times should help a lot.

That's what I ended up doing to fix an issue with way too much CYA (300+) which
also requires water change out.
 
May 10, 2017
1,819
Hays, Kansas
#7
Right now there are a few threads about a winter water change out using the water temp and tds difference to do a drain refill at the same time. Check em out.

It either takes 1 ppm or 3 ppm of copper, sorry can't remember which, to cause issues, so if a water test cannot be that precise, don't bother.

If you are not adding anymore copper, do a small exchange now to prevent more staining.

Currently the pool industry is clueless about fc/cya, so that's why any pool industry lifo says 1-3 ppm fc, even with cya 300 they are like, don't go over 3 ppm or you will implode.

Swg Hugh cya is to get the most bang for your buck on your swg cell, you can always try a lower cya and build it up later, but the higher number your cell runs the faster your going have to buy one.
 
OP
OP
Dcrimp
Jan 30, 2018
12
Adelaide, Australia
#8
Great thanks guys, really appreciate the help.

I'll try to test for copper, and if it shows up do a partial refill. A full refill I will differ until winter so I can combine it with other project such as acid washing and sealing the surrounding sandstone.

Once the test kit arrives, I'll SLAM and then raise CYA and FC levels, hopefully the Chlorine demand will stay nice and level.

Thanks again.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,468
SW Indiana
#9
Great thanks guys, really appreciate the help.

I'll try to test for copper, and if it shows up do a partial refill. A full refill I will differ until winter so I can combine it with other project such as acid washing and sealing the surrounding sandstone.

Once the test kit arrives, I'll SLAM and then raise CYA and FC levels, hopefully the Chlorine demand will stay nice and level.

Thanks again.
No point in testing it. The green hair is a better test than the pool store will do.
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
2,677
Pacific NW
#10
When I had copper I was tempted to buy the LaMotte copper test just to confirm,
but it was very expensive...around 75 dollars. It cost me way less to just
drain half and replace water.
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
#11
No point in testing it. The green hair is a better test than the pool store will do.
+1

It would also be best to drain water now while the copper may still be in suspension in the water. Once the copper deposits itself onto pool surfaces in the form of a stain it will be even more trouble to get rid of.
 
OP
OP
Dcrimp
Jan 30, 2018
12
Adelaide, Australia
#12
Gents

Thank you so much for your advice. I had the copper test and it was 0, but this is obvioulsy in-correct.

I am not seeing any staining (but don't know what to look for). Do you think it is ok to wait until winter to do a partial drain. I only ask because I am going to do other maintenance matters at this time.